CommEx to onboard 1 million Russian customers from Binance amid increased competition - report
CommEX, the company that acquired Binance’s Russian operations, anticipates approximately a million customers to transition to its platform, Russian media Kommersant reported Wednesday, Oct. 4.
However, not all of Binance’s Russian customers will likely migrate to CommEx. According to Dmitry Stepanin, CEO of Satoshkin, pointed out to Kommersant that crypto traders primarily turned to the ByBit exchange, which has shown significant marketing activity recently. Other exchanges such as Huobi, Bitget, Kucoin, and Gand ate.io, offering similar functionality to Binance, are also expected to see a surge in user inflow. This observation is corroborated by the P2P service Army, which has reported a steady increase in active ads for other crypto exchanges.
Anton Toroptsev, CommEX CEO, told Kommersant that he estimates the influx to his platform will be about 1 million users. In contrast, independent financial analyst Andrey Barkhota estimates that at least 700 thousand Russians were registered on Binance.
However, Binance has refrained from disclosing the exact number of its Russian customers. The user transition from Binance to CommEX, according to Toroptsev, will occur in phases. Initially, users can log in to CommEX using a Binance account with only basic Know Your Customer (KYC) information and login details being transferred. However, full KYC data is expected to be transferable within a week.
The pullout of Binance from Russia, according to Roman Nekrasov, co-founder of the ENCRY Foundation, is primarily due to pressure from US regulators who have accused the exchange of money laundering and evading sanctions, Kommersant reported. Moreover, Binance had gradually introduced restrictions for Russian users, including a ban on holdings exceeding $10,000 in their wallets and limiting transactions to rubles only. Yet, Binance reportedly made between $2 – $4 billion annually from its Russian clientele.
Nevertheless, Sergey Mendeleev, the head of the InDeFi Smart Bank, also told Kommersant that Binance is merely rebranding for a smoother operation in Russia. While CommEX, despite its Russian acquisition, maintains its registration in Seychelles and focuses on Asia and the CIS. The relative anonymity of CommEX’s owners and the platform’s nascent status represent potential risks of scams, hacker attacks, or security loopholes, warns Nekrasov.
As the crypto trading landscape continues to evolve in response to regulatory pressures and market dynamics, the metamorphosis of Binance’s operations in Russia offers a case study in adaptation and resilience.