CommEx, Binance’s Russian Successor, to Close in April

CommEx, the Russian successor to the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, has officially announced that it is shutting down operations and has stopped accepting deposits. After acquiring Binance’s Russian business in an undisclosed deal in September 2023, CommEx is now winding down its platform. The announcement was made on March 25 through the company’s official Telegram group, where it stated that deposits were immediately halted and new registrations were closed. Users were advised to withdraw their assets to third-party wallets. According to the provided roadmap, CommEx will cease futures trading on March 28 and begin suspending peer-to-peer exchange from April 2. The spot trading platform will be completely shut down on April 23, and the website will be suspended by May 10. Any user accounts that still have assets after May 10, 2024, will be subject to a 1% asset management fee.

Binance, the parent company of CommEx, had hinted at exiting the Russian market in early September 2023, as key local executives, including the vice president of Eastern Europe, resigned. Shortly after, Binance claimed to have sold its entire Russian business to the newly created exchange, CommEx. The details of the deal, including the founders and executives of CommEx, were not disclosed. CommEx stated that it operated independently of Binance but conceded that some of its core members were former Binance staff. This mysterious deal sparked speculation among local crypto enthusiasts, who noticed similarities between the Binance and CommEx websites, dubbing CommEx the “Russian version” of Binance.US. At the time of the sale, Russia was Binance’s largest market in terms of user visits, accounting for 6.9% of total visits.

The Binance-CommEx deal coincided with former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s efforts to dismiss a lawsuit brought against Binance by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June 2023. The SEC accused Binance of offering the sale of unregistered securities and operating illegally in the United States. Zhao resigned from Binance and pled guilty in November 2023. He is currently on bail in the United States with a $175 million bond, having been denied permission to visit family in the United Arab Emirates. Originally scheduled for February 2024, Zhao’s sentencing has been postponed to late April.

CommEx’s closure also comes at a time when Binance is facing increased scrutiny from regulators in various countries. On March 25, the Philippines blocked local users from accessing Binance due to concerns about the exchange’s unlicensed operations in the country.

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