In a striking move, significant crypto exchanges OKX and ByBit have chosen to exclude sanctioned Russian banks from their payment options. Among the removed financial institutions are Tinkoff Bank and Sberbank, which are no longer available on the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transaction lists of these exchanges. Although no official affirmation has been provided by the representatives of either company, these changes have been reflected on their platforms.
This removal follows similar actions from Binance which has been in the spotlight recently for enlisting Tinkoff and Sberbank as transfer options. As of Aug 24, the brands of these financial institutions were nowhere to be found on Binance P2P platform. Yet, it’s interesting to note that Binance P2P users continue to use “the green bank” as a preferred payment choice in their sales adverts.
In the same vein, OKX and ByBit are also seeing similar behaviors where merchants still provide the option of exchange through the said banks privately, despite their removal from public transaction lists.
This development comes with a simultaneous positive and negative charge. On one end, it’s a nod to regulatory practices given the sanctions placed on the Russian banks. However, its implementation raises eyebrows as the use of “the green bank” (representing Sberbank and Tinkoff) continues in private transactions.
Further questions emerge as to where this leaves Russian users who can no longer receive fiat money in exchange for their crypto via these banks on P2P platforms. As an exception, OKX still permits users to receive fiat on their accounts of a Russian branch of Raiffeisen Bank and the Russian Standard Bank, two institutions not included in the sanction list formed by the United States Treasury.
With more regulatory attention shifting to the crypto industry, these developments underline the ongoing friction between maintaining service to users and adhering to international financial regulations. As such, it is of vital importance for the crypto exchanges to address this ‘grey area’ to assure a compliant and user-friendly ecosystem. As this unfolds, one has to wait and see how crypto exchanges tackle these challenges without jostling their user experience and reputation.