Russia Adds Binance’s U.S. Head of Investigation to Sanction List


Russia has expanded its list of sanctions, adding 500 new names, including BJ Kang, Binance’s U.S. Head of Investigation. This move comes as a response to U.S. sanctions on Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. Department of Justice has reopened its investigation into Binance’s potential involvement with Russian users bypassing sanctions. Read full article below.

Russia’s sanction has been updated to include 500 new names, including that of BJ Kang, Binance’s U.S. Head of Investigation, who was appointed in October of last year. Many Americans, including New York’s Attorney General Letitia James, are on Vladimir Putin’s black list.

Barack Obama, the country’s former president, is also targeted in response to U.S. sanctions placed on Russia because of the conflict in Ukraine. Russia has placed travel and financial restrictions on the 500 individuals and organizations identified in the sanctions.

Binance Sandwiched Between U.S and Russia

After invading Ukraine for over a month, Russia has been hit with harsh penalties from many countries in an effort to coerce it into contemplating peace talks. At first, it was speculated that the dominant crypto exchange would not adhere to U.S. sanctions on Russia. Binance’s CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, said that the exchange was following the court’s order.

He went on to say that Binance has assembled a team to prevent those on the sanctions list from using the cryptocurrency trading platform. U.S. authorities were expected to take action against Binance, OKX (based in the Seychelles), and Huobi (located in Singapore) a year ago when it was found that the majority of their traffic originated in Russia.

After it became clear that Russians may have circumvented sanctions by using Binance, the Department of Justice reopened its investigation into the exchange two weeks ago.  Although Kang has been added to Putin’s list of sanctioned individuals, the agency has not yet confirmed the extent of Binance’s involvement in Russia. 

Pooja Bhargav