Kuna exchange founder feels Binance is “cooperating” with Russia

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Kuna exchange founder feels Binance is "cooperating" with Russia
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European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde also said this week that Russians are using digital assets to evade sanctions.

Michael Chobanian, founder of Ukraine-based cryptocurrency exchange Kuna and manager of Ukraine’s cryptocurrency fund, suggested an investigation into potential collusion between Binance and Russia over sanctions.

In comments reported by CoinDesk on Thursday, Chobanian asked the European Union to take the step to determine whether the leading cryptocurrency exchange is indeed “cooperating” with Russia to help Putin’s government evade sanctions.

Chobanian, head of the Ukraine Blockchain Association, told the publication that he would apologize if the investigation proves that Binance did nothing wrong. But he added that if confirmed, then the EU would need to deal with it.

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The allegations surfaced last week, and Binance began refuting allegations made by the founder of the Kuna cryptocurrency exchange.

like a “big bank”

Although Chobanian says there is no evidence yet, this is what could happen. He believes that Russia is likely to use Binance as a “bank.”

Instead of buying bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, those seeking to evade sanctions can simply “top-up” their accounts with rubles, exchange them for dollars, and easily withdraw funds in another country.

This could happen even without cryptocurrencies changing hands, he said. “It’s fiat, fiat,” he told CoinDesk.

The allegations are in line with some concerns from authorities that Russian oligarchs could turn to cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions. Many industry experts and lawmakers see crypto as doing little to help sanctioned individuals and the Russian government.

However, some regulators and leaders say it is possible. This week, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde warned that Russia is using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions.





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