Binance ends partnership with Advcash to axe Ruble payments

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance is reportedly planning to dissolve its partnership with Advanced Cash, a payment processor known as Advcash, according to a WSJ report and messages sent to clients.

This partnership, established in 2019, facilitated the transfer of funds between Binance and a slew of Russian banks that faced international sanctions.

The collaboration with the Belize-registered Advcash enabled customers to deposit and withdraw Russian rubles, a feature highlighted when Binance expanded its fiat-to-crypto trading capabilities. However, recent developments and increased legal scrutiny have led to a reassessment of Binance’s business engagements in Russia.

An Advcash representative stated that they had not been informed by Binance of any changes to their partnership. Addressing concerns over potential sanction violations, he added “Advcash ceased processing credit card deposits in RUB from its customers in March 2022,” denying any involvement in moving funds from sanctioned banks to Binance.

The decision to pull out of the Advcash partnership aligns with Binance’s broader strategy to withdraw from the Russian market amid allegations that the cryptocurrency exchange might be assisting in evading Western sanctions.

While Binance has not made an official announcement regarding the termination of the Advcash collaboration, the reported internal communications suggest a move to distance the company from any activities that could be perceived as sanction circumvention.

Binance’s exit strategy took a more definitive shape in September when it agreed to sell its Russian operations to the local crypto exchange CommEx. The handover process is expected to be gradual, potentially spanning a year.

Nevertheless, CommEX has raised questions due to its similarities to Binance in terms of user interface and its recent establishment. That led Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, to deny being the owner of the company that acquired Binance’s business in Russia.

CZ acknowledged that some former members of the Binance CIS team may have joined the CommEX team, and he sees this as a positive development. He also mentioned that the design and APIs of CommEX are similar to Binance’s, which was done intentionally to ensure a seamless and familiar user experience for customers.

The US Department of Justice’s national security division is investigating whether Binance or its executives violated US sanctions related to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and interference in Ukraine. This probe is separate from an ongoing inquiry by the DOJ’s criminal division into Binance’s compliance with anti-money laundering and tax laws.

The move came shortly after Binance reportedly eased restrictions on Russian citizens and residents that it had imposed over a year ago, breaking ranks with mainstream finance and global regulators in a decision that weakens Western attempts to isolate Moscow.

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