On Friday, April 22, it was all over the news that the world’s largest crypto exchange (in terms of Trading Volume), Binance had purposely leaked user data to the Russian authorities. Further, as per a Reuters’ special report, Russian Intelligence agencies wanted Binance to share its user’s data to help them track down users engaged in criminal activity. However, it is reported that the ruling government had an ulterior motive for this which was to track down and seize the Russian opposition leader Navalny’s Bitcoin (BTC) donation fund, which is said to be worth millions of dollars. It was believed that as Navalny was quite vocal against the corruption of the current Russian government, he was mysteriously poisoned by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) after he lost the 2018 elections.
The report further states that Binance’s head of Eastern Europe and Russia, Gleb Kostarev had come in contact with Russia’s financial intelligence agency back in April 2021. It is believed that in that very meeting Binance was forced to agree to the request as it is stated that Kostarev told one of his business associates that he didn’t have much choice in the matter.
What is Binance’s take on the matter?
After the news of Binance illegally leaking users’ data to the Russian government became the talk of the town. Binance quickly posted an article the very next day clarifying that they don’t know anything about the accusation against them and the whole matter is false and baseless. They had no prior meeting with any Russian Intelligence agency whatsoever, as stated in the article accusing them.
Binance further stated that they are only willing to share users’ data upon receiving official or legal notice from the administration as this is what being a regulated crypto exchange means.
Further, Binance has clarified that they have only restricted their services in Russia due to the war sanctions placed on them by global authorities. Binance being an officially recognised and regulated crypto exchange is simply adhering to the sanctions placed on Russia by the European Union and they have no hand in it in any way.
Currently, Binance has stated that they expect an apology from Reuters for publishing falsified news against them that has hurt their reputation severely.
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