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CommEX Shuts Down Few Months After Taking Over Binance’s Russian Market

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CommEX, a crypto exchange that previously took over Binance’s operations in Russia after it decided to exit the country, has revealed its intention to cease operations in the country.

Binance had initially announced its departure from Russia in September 2023, stating that the process would take approximately one year to complete.

CommEX Announces Gradual Wind-Down of Operations

In a post on X, CommEX Russia mentioned that the exchange will wind down operations gradually starting March 25 but did not provide any reasons behind the decision.

On March 25, the exchange will stop accepting new user registrations, halt asset transfers from Binance, and cease accepting deposits in both fiat and cryptocurrencies. By March 28, there will be a winding down of opening positions for simple futures and futures trading. The publication of new advertisements on the P2P marketplace will end by April 5.

Subsequently, all P2P orders and advertisements will be automatically closed by April 18, followed by the automatic closure of all trading pairs on simple and classic futures by April 23. The spot market will then be closed by May 10, at which point the official website will cease operations, rendering it inaccessible to users.

CommEX has confirmed that user accounts holding remaining assets after May 10, 2024, will be subject to a 1% asset management fee. The exchange then advised users to close their positions and withdraw assets to external wallets.

Binance’s Regulatory Pressure

A month into CommEX taking over Binance’s Russian business, local clients switched to other platforms, leaving the exchange struggling. Its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading activity plunged by 10% to 30%. As 2023 began, Binance’s daily ruble P2P transactions were at 7,700 and went down to 6,300 by mid-year. This number then went down to 3,400 when September came around.

Meanwhile, Binance discontinued all Russian ruble (RUB) services on January 30, 2024, as part of its exit from Russia. The open spot orders associated with RUB were closed. Binance Convert and Binance Pay also removed all RUB trading pairs and ceased to support RUB as a fiat currency option.

According to Roman Nekrasov, co-founder of the ENCRY Foundation, the withdrawal of Binance from Russia was mainly influenced by pressure from U.S. regulators who accused the exchange of money laundering and sanctions evasion.

In addition, Binance had implemented various restrictions for Russian users, such as limiting holdings to $10,000 and restricting transactions to ruble. However, the exchange reportedly generated annual revenues of $2 – $4 billion from its Russian users.

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