Binance Russian Users Are Moving to Other Platforms, Not Just CommEx: Report
A significant number of Binance’s Russian clients have migrated to alternative platforms, not only to the platform’s new owner CommEx.
The shift is evident from the decreased activity in peer-to-peer (p2p) operations, Dmitry Stepanin, the CEO of Satoshkin, said in a recent interview with local news outlet Kommersant.
Stepanin added that professional p2p traders have reported a decrease ranging from 10% to 30%.
At the beginning of 2023, Binance accounted for approximately 7,700 ruble p2p transaction advertisements per day.
However, this number dwindled to 6,300 by mid-year and plummeted to 3,400 by the end of September.
As of October 3, there was no available data on ruble transactions on Binance.
According to Stepanin, the majority of crypto traders have migrated to the ByBit exchange, which has been actively promoting its services.
Data by P2P.Army, an analytical service for P2P arbitrage and arbitrage between crypto exchanges, shows a consistent growth in active advertisements on these alternative exchanges.
Huobi, for instance, had 3,900 to 4,000 advertisements in the first half of the year, which increased to 4,300 in September and surpassed 4,500 in early October.
Bybit witnessed a rise from 1,800 advertisements in the first half of the year to over 2,700 in October.
Anton Toroptsev, the CEO of CommEx, told Kommersant that former Binance users have the freedom to choose whether to join their platform or explore other options.
“But everyone will have a personal choice whether to join us or try their luck with another platform.”
He predicted that approximately one million users would migrate to CommEx.
Independent financial analyst Andrei Barkhota estimated that at least 700,000 Russians were registered on Binance.
Binance itself has not disclosed the exact number of Russian clients.
The process of transferring clients from Binance to CommEx will occur in stages.
Currently, users can log into CommEx using their Binance account, but only basic KYC information and login details are shared.
Within a week, complete KYC data transfers will be possible, according to Toroptsev.
The initiation of asset transfers currently relies solely on users.
CommEx provides three options: continue using Binance and wait for further updates, register a CommEx account using Binance data, or register a new account on CommEx and transfer assets from Binance at a later stage.
The translation process is expected to take between one to three months, according to Barkhota.
The primary reason for Binance’s exit from the Russian market can be attributed to pressure from American regulators.
The exchange has faced accusations of money laundering and sanctions circumvention using its platform.
Binance gradually imposed restrictions on Russian users, such as limiting wallet holdings to $10,000 in 2022 and prohibiting the purchase of foreign currency on the p2p platform.
This year, the exchange banned Russians from trading cryptocurrencies with any currency other than the ruble.
Notably, Binance earned an estimated $400-500 million per year from Russian clients, as per Barkhota.
Sergei Mendeleev, the head of InDeFi Smart Bank, claimed that Binance is not entirely leaving the Russian market but rather rebranding to facilitate a smoother operation with Russian users.
There have been speculations that Binance owned CommEX due to the low-key nature of the agreement and the fact that the exchange was just a few days old.