Binance Card to be launched in Russia despite the local ban on crypto payments

Binance Card to be launched in Russia despite the local ban on crypto payments

Russia is an important market for us, says Gleb Kostarev, Binance’s head of operations for Russia

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by daily volume, is continuing to work on the rollout of its crypto debit card in Russia, despite the scheduled ban on cryptocurrency in the country.

Gleb Kostarev, Binance’s head of operations for Russia and the CIS told CoinTelegraph in an interview that the international cryptocurrency giant plans to offer the Binance card in Russia with complete compliance to local regulations.

Russia’s newly passed crypto bill provided legal status to crypto after years of being in the category of other assets. However, the legislation also banned the use of cryptocurrency as a mode of payment. The new laws are set to be officially adopted from January 1st, 2021.

Though the ban acts as a drawback, Kostarev explained that the decision to introduce Binance Card in Russia comes in line with Binance’s mission to provide all users with the “same experience that is fully compliant with local regulations.”

Announced in April 2020, the Binance Card is a crypto debit card that is designed to enable payments in cryptocurrencies.

It’s as simple as transferring BNB from one wallet to another. Your card will use the balance for your card payments and automatically deduct all expenses from the balance every time you make a payment,” the original announcement for the Binance Card read.

It is anticipated to be accepted by more than 46 million online and offline merchants in over 200 regions and territories. It was launched in countries under the European Economic Area in July and is soon scheduled to be launched in the United States.

Kostarev explained Binance’s position on the issue by saying  “We strive to provide all Binance users with the same experience that is fully compliant with local regulations. Russia for us is an important market. We are working on the launch of the Binance card in Russia, but so far we cannot designate the exact date launch or give any legal opinion on this issue at the moment.”

As the Binance Card represents a crypto payment tool by design, the product’s rollout in Russia raises some questions. The country’s first crypto law has officially prohibited citizens from making payments in cryptos like Bitcoin making it extremely challenging for a crypto exchange like Binance to launch a crypto debit card.

However, the new law has yet had no impact over Binance’s business in the country, the exec said.  “The adopted version of the law did not affect Binance’s business in any way,” he stated, adding that the law is “fairly neutral” and does not prohibit the crypto assets turnover.

The senior executive further outlined that the adopted version of the law “does not fully cover all aspects of cryptocurrency regulation.” He added that Binance is still expecting additional threats to the industry as Russian regulators are planning to introduce another crypto-related bill and can amend passed legislation.

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