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Crypto exchange Binance hopes for regional expansion in Russia

Binance aims to expand its cryptocurrency exchange in Russia and its neighboring states, where the firm sees possibilities for growth and development under proper regulatory measures. 

Binance is hoping to expand crypto activities in Russia. 

In an interview with Reuters, Binance’s Eastern European director Gleb Kostarev stated that the Russian crypto market sees roughly $5 billion worth of transactions in a year and is of strategic importance to Binance due to its immense growth prospects.

The exchange had recently recruited three new executives to leadership positions in Russia and Ukraine, in a bid to bolster its position as one of the prominent cryptocurrency exchanges in the region. 

Kostarev further added that the exchange hopes for the government to take a progressive approach in regulating cryptocurrencies. 

“Our goal is to obtain a license and conduct legal business where the regulation allows,” Kostarev told Reuters. 

Kostarev also addressed the Central bank’s proposal to ban cryptocurrency calling it a harsh decision. He also added,” For now, we consider this as an invitation to dialogue with the regulator.”

Russia is known to have strictly disapproved of cryptocurrency trading in the region, citing issues concerning money laundering and funding terrorism. The country gave it a legal status in 2020 but did not allow crypto to be used for payments. 

Kostarev also stated that Russia’s approach could be instrumental in determining how other nations would deal with cryptocurrency regulation. 

“In Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan they are more loyal to cryptocurrencies and are taking steps towards liberalization, rather than restriction,” he added. “But local regulators are taking these steps with an eye on Russia.”

Earlier this month, Russia grappled with a growing outcry to ban cryptocurrencies and crypto mining processes in the region. However, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has softened his stance on cryptocurrency, prompting its government to reach a favorable consensus on the matter. Still, a definite order on its status in the country is yet to be determined. 

Russia, which is the third-largest country when it comes to mining cryptocurrency, contributed nearly an 11.2% hash rate to the global Bitcoin network in August 2021. The country’s cold climate makes it easier for crypto mining firms to utilize the country’s cheap electricity to mine crypto.

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