Binance CEO: Cryptocurrencies are terrible to escape sanctions

    09 Apr 2022

    Binance CEO, Chengpeng Zhao, said cryptocurrencies are “terrible for avoiding sanctions.” He also noted the reason: “It is traceable.” He also explained how they lack the ability to freeze all Russian users’ assets.

    Chengpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of the biggest crypto exchange Binance, believes that cryptocurrencies are terrible for evading sanctions. This comment comes amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, followed by global sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. However, Russian oligarchs reportedly were using crypto to evade sanctions.

    Zhao tweeted that cryptocurrencies are “terrible for avoiding sanctions”. He said the reason is simple: “It is traceable.”

    In a recent interview with CNN, he said using crypto to avoid sanctions is a myth. “If you look at the data, nobody smart does that. Crypto is too traceable, the governments around the world are increasingly very good at tracking crypto transactions. So crypto is not good for that.”

    Binance’s head claimed that the platform would not ban Russian users from transacting; however, it would not accept transactions from cards issued by banks under sanction.

    Also, Zhao told Bloomberg that it is freezing the accounts of Russians targeted by international sanctions. However, the exchange will not keep all Russians from accessing its platform.

    “Binance follows sanctions rules very strictly. Whoever is on the sanctions list, they won’t be able to use our platform, for whoever is not, they can,” Zhao said in an interview, adding that expanding restrictions beyond the list of sanctioned individuals would be “unethical for us to do.”

    Recently, Binance is also hiring over 100 positions in the UAE and is helping to shape Dubai’s new virtual assets’ regulations, its regional head said. Binance’s links with the Gulf state have deepened in recent months as the UAE tries to style itself as the world’s new digital assets hub and develops regulations.

    Meantime, blockchain-data analytics company Chainalysis announced a launch of free screening tools to help provide sanctions oversight to the crypto industry. The tools include two main components of new tracking software that will assist exchanges in screening wallets and transactions for activities that skirt economic sanctions.

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