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Binance says it de-platformed Russian crypto exchange Suex earlier this year even before it was sanctioned by the US Treasury

Markets Insider
Markets Insider
 29 days ago

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Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance.
  • Binance said de-platformed Suex earlier this year, even before it was blacklisted by the US Treasury Department.
  • The agency sanctioned the Russian crypto exchange for its role in laundering financial transactions for ransomware actors.
  • "Make no mistake - this is a positive development for the industry and the millions of innovators, consumers, and investors," Binance said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell .

Binance Holdings, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it de-platformed recently sanctioned Russian-owned cryptocurrency exchange Suex earlier this year, even before it was blacklisted by the US Treasury Department, according to a blog post published Wednesday .

Suex on Tuesday was sanctioned by the Biden Administration for its role in laundering financial transactions for ransomware actors. This marked the first time the Treasury has ever blacklisted a cryptocurrency exchange.

The agency added Suex to its Specially Designated Nationals list, blacklisting 25 blockchain addresses the Czech Republic-based company used. The designation would generally ban all US citizens from engaging in transactions with them.

"We de-platformed these accounts based on internal safeguards," Binance said. "Information regarding the addresses in the announcement, as well as other information from our internal investigation, was shared with the appropriate authorities."

Binance added that several accounts related to the addresses that the Treasury flagged were identified by its investigative team earlier this year.

"Make no mistake - this is a positive development for the industry and the millions of innovators, consumers, and investors across the globe that contribute to blockchain's growth each day," Binance said.

An analysis of transactions of Suex showed that over 40% were associated with illicit actors, according to the Treasury's announcement , adding that the crypto exchange also facilitated illicit funds from at least eight ransomware variants.

Suex, according to Binance, is just the latest illicit entity it took action against. Most recently, its efforts included the Fancycat operation and Bulletproof Exchanger Project .

"At Binance, we recognize what it means to be the industry leader versus simply being the largest player in the industry," the company said. "As an industry, we must tackle this challenge head-on in partnership with law enforcement across the globe."

Binance itself has not been without controversy. It is being probed over possible insider trading and market manipulation by US regulators. It also recently announced shutting down cryptocurrency derivative products for existing customers in Australia by the end of the year to appease regulators.

But in September, Binance, which was founded in 2017 and does not have a formal headquarters, said it needs centralized headquarters to work well with regulators all over the world.

The admission comes after months of being slapped with multiple warnings , and in some jurisdictions, banned from operating due to its failure to register with local regulators.

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