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Binance's September News: Belgium In, Russia Out [Or Maybe Not]

Lately, Binance and its U.S. affiliate have faced multiple troubles partially connected to ongoing investigations by the SEC and CFTC. Let’s have a closer look at the latest setbacks and successes of the embattled exchange.

Binance is hard wae

Executives still fleeing the ship

Another top executive left Binance in mid-September, adding to those from the legal and compliance units that fled the exchange this summer amid regulatory investigations. The most recent leaver, however, was Brian Shroder, the CEO and president of Binance.US. All is fine according to CZ, however, who stated that Shroder is taking “a deserved break after accomplishing what he set out to do.”

Binance.US cut more than 100 jobs on the day that Shorder left, which was roughly a third of its workforce. Following that worrisome news the exchange saw major outflows, but CZ rolled out his standard recommendation to “ignore the FUD.”

Gleb Kostarev, head of Eastern Europe and Russia at Binance, also announced his departure from a few weeks before the branch was sold to the mysterious CommEX.

Binance Russia sells to CommEX 

After it was revealed that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating Binance in connection with the possible violation of sanctions on Russia, the company announced that it will fully quit the Russian market by selling its local business to an exchange called CommEX, claiming that “operating in Russia is not compatible with Binance's compliance strategy.”

The mystery exchange was launched just one day before the announcement, with no details given about its founders or executives. Some users noted that CommEX was basically a “full copy” of Binance’s website with only the logo changed along with its terms of use and privacy notice. CZ denied all rumours about any connection between Binance and CommEX, saying that he is not their UBO, nor owns any shares in the company. “The deal does not have any buy back options,” – he added.

“CommEX is a rapidly expanding cryptocurrency exchange, backed by top-tier crypto VCs,” — according to the Binance-owned CoinMarketCap. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. 

Back to Belgium

Every cloud has a silver lining, it seems. Last week Binance reopened registrations and access to its products and services for its Belgian users. Three months ago the finance regulator ordered the exchange to immediately cease all virtual currency services in the country, as it was providing these from a country that is not a member of the European Economic Area.

Binance has not mentioned what exact changes were made to let it continue providing services for Belgian users, but it is assumed that they are now being offered by a European entity.

Paysafe Quits

Unfortunately not everything is going so well for Binance in Europe. Recently one of its payment solutions providers, the U.K.-based Paysafe, has “unilaterally” ceased processing EUR deposits for Binance users, although the company suggests that this will only lead to “a brief interruption to the following services.”

Binance recommended European Paysafe users to convert their balances to USDT before the end of October. Back in May Binance’s fiat partner also stopped providing deposit and withdrawal services in U.K. pound sterling.

Binance is now facing lawsuits from both the SEC and CFTC over several alleged legal violations. This is especially challenging for its U.S. branch, although also affects the international business, and every setback for the exchange now raises worries, doubts and rumours. We will continue to Observe, trying to “ignore the FUD” but keeping a close eye on all the details.