Binance’s Russian successor CommEx to shut down in April

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CommEx, the successor of Binance crypto exchange in Russia, has officially announced it is shutting down operations and has halted deposits.

After acquiring Binance’s Russian business in an undisclosed deal in September 2023, CommEx is winding down its platform.

CommEx posted an announcement on its official Telegram group on March 25, immediately halting deposits and closing down new registrations.

“We have to announce the gradual suspension of operations on the CommEX platform,” the firm said, recommending users to immediately withdraw their assets to third-party wallets.

According to the suspension roadmap, CommEx will stop servicing futures trading on March 28 and will also start suspending peer-to-peer exchange from April 2. On April 23, CommEx plans to completely shut down the spot trading platform and suspend its website by May 10.

“User accounts that retain assets after May 10, 2024 will be subject to an asset management fee of 1% of assets,” the announcement notes.

As previously reported, Binance hinted at exiting Russia in early September 2023 as top local executives including vice president of Eastern Europe Gleb Kostarev stepped down.

A few weeks later, Binance claimed it sold its entire Russian business to the newly created exchange CommEx, but it declined to disclose any details about CommEx founders or executives.

Subsequently, CommEx emphasized that it operated independently of Binance, but admitted that some of its core members were former Binance staf.

The mysterious deal quickly sparked chatter among local crypto enthusiasts, who saw lots of similarities between Binance and CommEx websites, calling the new exchange a “Russian version” of Binance.US.

At the time of the sale, Russia was the top market in terms of user visits on Binance.com, accounting for 6.9% of total visits.

Related: Facing potential prison time, former Binance CEO hints at new project

The Binance-CommEx deal came amid former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and Binance trying to assure a court in the United States to dismiss a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it filed in June 2023.

The SEC sued Binance on allegations that the exchange offered the sale of unregistered securities and operated illegally in the United States.

Zhao subsequently resigned Binance and pleaded guilty in November 2023. He now remains in the U.S. on bail with a $175 million bond after a judge rejected his petition to visit family in the United Arab Emirates. Originally scheduled for February 2024, Zhao’s sentence was postponed to late April.

CommEx’s closure also comes amid more countries scrutinizing Binance globally. On March 25, the Philippines blocked local user access to Binance, citing concerns over the firm’s unlicensed operations in the country.

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