Cryptocurrency Exchanges Eye Russia for Expansion Despite Sanctions
Sanctions imposed by authorities as part of geopolitical struggles don’t always filter through to under-regulated industries. Ambitious businesses covet every chance for diversification and expansion. Which appears to be the reason why a growing number of crypto exchanges are turning their focus on Russia and its diaspora, regardless of the disapprobation this risks drawing from U.S. officials.
They have definitely taken their toll on the Russian market and dissuaded many foreign investors. But, that’s not necessarily the case with the crypto business, which is looking to expand operations after a prolonged downturn. Major digital asset exchanges have been focusing on Russia and the greater Russian world, regardless of the sanctions. According to a recent report, interest toward cryptocurrencies there has remained relatively stable during the past year.
Binance, the largest exchange by daily trading volume, has not restricted access to its platform for Russian users, even though cutting traders from many of other nations under U.S. sanctions like Iran and Belarus. What is more, the Chinese crypto firm hired a special agent for Russia, Gleb Kostarev, who recently told Forklog that the Russian Federation and the CIS countries are a few of the largest and most significant markets for Binance, with great potential for future expansion. The platform’s website is already available in Russian and Russian-language support is offered to VIP clients.
Placing a Russian workplace is in Binance’s strategies but the firm prefers to first see comprehensive regulations to the crypto business in the country. However, Huobi, which is the fourth biggest crypto exchange, is apparently not stressed by the absence of regulations. It has already set up shop in Russia and started a dedicated platform, Huobi Russia. It preserves 24-hour Russian-language online service and call centre. Huobi is also partnering with Russia’s state-owned growth bank VEB to provide legal assistance to crypto businesses and with the country’s oldest business school, the Plekhanov University of Economics, on an educational program. Another exchange that is planning a Russian growth is Kucoin. Its site already has a Russian variant also.
One of the additional crypto trading platforms with Russian language support are Exmo, arguably the largest digital resources exchange in Eastern Europe, and the Hong Kong-based Bitmex.
U.K.-headquartered Exmo, that is also reflected in both Moscow and Kiev, provides pairs of important cryptocurrencies with the Russian ruble, also supports several payment methods that are very popular in this region of the world, such as card deposits and withdrawals, bank transfers in neighborhood fiat currency, Qiwi, Yandex Money, Webmoney and other payment processors.
Peer-to-peer crypto trading platforms are also focusing on Russian-speaking users. The favorite exchange Localbitcoins has a Russian-language website devoted to traders in the Russian Federation, in which most of the offers are priced in rubles and traders use popular Russian payment procedures. It also expanded its record of exchanges whose prices can be referenced in the offers, including Binance and Exmo.