Binance to Comply with Mastercard and Visa Blocks on Russian Bank Accounts

Binance today posted a blog post stating that Visa and Mastercard credit card issued in Russia would no longer be available on the cryptocurrency exchange. It was also mentioned that Russian users would not be allowed to use Mastercards and Visa cards issued outside Russia. The policy applies to “all transactions initiated” with those cards, according to the phrasing of the announcement. The new policy will go into effect tomorrow at 9:00 PM UTC. It is unclear whether the restrictions will extend to Binance subsidiaries that offer credit card integration, such as the company’s newly-launched Bifinity payments service.

Binance’s post referred to “recent decisions by Visa and Mastercard” as the reason for the new policy. On Saturday, Visa and Mastercard announced that they would suspend operations in Russia in opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, implied similarly that the policy change was an act to comply. “This is out of our hands. Not our decision,” he stated on TwitterFollowing the announcement. Zhao called an earlier total ban on Russian users unethical. He stated that Binance would first comply with government sanctions. It appears that today’s action still does not represent a total ban on Russian customers. Russian users have other options for funding their Binance accounts. These include bank transfers, third-party payments processors, and cryptocurrency deposits. Still, today’s announcement suggests that the number of options available to Russian investors is gradually declining. This news comes just days after Coinbase announced it had blocked 25,000 Russian-linked addresses and days after reports that there were widespread Russian IP bans on South Korean exchanges. Disclosure: This piece was written by an individual who owned BTC and ETH at the time it was written.

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