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Exchanges using USDT to trade in Russia despite sanctions: Report

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Exchanges using USDT to trade in Russia despite sanctions: Report

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  • Huobi and KuCoin are reportedly allowing customers of sanctioned Russian banks to access their trading platforms.
  • Binance was also allowing Russians to convert local currency to crypto without KYC checks.

Popular crypto exchanges KuCoin and Huobi have come under fire for failing to comply with the sanctions imposed on Russia in light of its conflict with Ukraine. The Seychelles-based firms have a considerable presence in the crypto space and are counted among the world’s largest crypto exchanges. 

Huobi and KuCoin using USDT to allow transactions

According to a report by Bloomberg, Huobi and KuCoin continued to allow customers of sanctioned Russian banks to trade on their platforms. A report by crypto data analytics firm Inca Digital corroborated this report. Allegedly, debit cards issued by Russian banks were being used to make transactions on the crypto exchanges. 

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Inca Digital CEO Adam Zarazinski stated that the exchanges violated the sanctions imposed by Europe and the United States. He further revealed that Russians often use Tether [USDT] to move funds out of the country. Additionally, the exchanges used USDT to provide crypto banking services to the sanctioned banks. 

The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, was also named as one platform that catered to Russian nationals looking to convert local currency into cryptocurrency. This reportedly includes using Binance’s OTC trading desk and a peer-to-peer marketplace. Russians can use these methods to convert up to $10,000 without completing know-your-customer (KYC) checks. 

However, Binance’s head of global sanctions, Chagri Poyraz, claimed that the firm was a full KYC platform. Additionally, it was the first major crypto exchange to comply with sanctions imposed by the European Union. He said in a statement to Bloomberg:

“Our P2P team takes the extraordinary added step of filtering any forms of communication between users to ensure there is absolutely no potential nexus with Russian entities through any sort of workaround.”


Saman is a News Editor at AMBCrypto. Her background in History and English expanded on her knack for editing and presenting all sides of a story without bias. With a strong will to learn, Saman is always up for exploring unknown territory, and crypto, with its ever-changing landscape, offers just that.
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