Binance continued services in Iran despite sanctions, traders say
- Iranian Traders used the platform as late as September last year
- The company only stopped letting Iranian traders a month ago
- Coinbase had earlier promised that they would follow international sanctions
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange platform continued to let Iranian clients trade on its platform despite sanctions from the United States and the fact that it was banned from doing business there, according to a Reuters report.
The US reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 for its refusal to pause construction on its nuclear arsenal. That same year, in November, Binance told Iranian traders that it would no longer be doing business with them thanks to the sanctions and directed them to cash out their accounts.
According to a few traders that spoke to Reuters, they managed to circumvent the ban. They continued to use the crypto exchange platform as recently as September 2021. The traders only lost access after Binance decided to tighten its own anti-money laundering processes a month ago. Until then, users could sign up to a fresh account using an email address.
A trader from Tehran, Asal Alizade said that despite other platforms being available, none came close to Binance, especially since the platform employed no identity verification mechanisms. The use of the platform by Iranians is likely to attract the attention of US regulators.
However, the company’s popularity in Iran was known to insiders there. Senior Binance employees would joke about the growing number of Iranian users, according to Reuters. One employee posted on Instagram “IRAN BOYS” as a reference to data that indicated the rising popularity of Binance in Iran.
Earlier this year, Binance had released a blog post stating that it would “follow international sanction rules strictly” in response to the West’s sanction of Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. According to the post, the company had assembled a “global compliance task force” that included “world-renowned sanctions and law enforcement experts.” The company claims that it uses “banking grade tools” to prevent people or organisations from sanctioned countries from using its currency exchange services.