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Binance successor in Russia: Everything you need to know about CommEx, so far

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has declared that it has voluntarily left Russia by transferring its local business to CommEx, a brand new exchange. Binance has promised its customers a “smooth” transition, yet it hasn’t provided much information about its successor in Russia.

At the time of the announcement, little was known about CommEx’s founders or background. The exchange was launched on Sept. 26, 2023, just one day prior to Binance’s announcement of the sale of its business to the newly established exchange for an undisclosed amount.

A spokesperson for CommEx didn’t answer multiple questions from users about the company’s proprietors or executives in the official Telegram group. The person stated that CommEx is registered in the Seychelles and will serve its customers as a global exchange focused on two main regions: the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Asia.

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CommEx already on Binance-owned CoinMarketCap

At launch, CommEx only supports a browser version, with the firm promising to introduce a mobile app in the near future. Despite being launched just one day ago, CommEx is already listed on CoinMarketCap, a major crypto tracking website that Binance acquired in April 2020. On the other hand, rival market tracker CoinGecko doesn’t show any information about CommEx at the time of writing.

According to CoinMarketCap data, CommEx has 25 trading pairs at launch, including stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and Binance’s BNB (BNB) cryptocurrency. “CommEx is a rapidly expanding cryptocurrency exchange, backed by top-tier crypto VCs,” the description of the new exchange on CoinMarketCap reads.

CommEx will initially support peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions in Russia, allowing users to exchange their crypto without using the platform’s fiat channels. The platform will launch spot trading of USDT against Russia’s fiat currency, the ruble, once the web 3.0 website’s fiat channels are live, according to a spokesperson in CommEx’s Telegram group.

A spokesperson for Binance told Cointelegraph that it would be “entirely optional” for Binance users to move over to CommEx. “You may also withdraw your funds to another platform if you’d like,” the person noted, adding that users would still be able to migrate their assets to CommEx. The spokesperson added:

According to the CommEx representative, users can trade without completing Know Your Customer (KYC) checks for up to 2 Bitcoin (BTC) in withdrawals. The firm will not allow account registration or services in locations including the United States, Belgium, the Republic of Cyprus, Czechia, the Netherlands and Singapore, as well as sanctioned regions like Iran and Crimea, CommEx’s location restrictions page reads.

The spokesperson also saidit’s unlikely that Binance’s contactless payment tool, Binance Pay, will continue to work with CommEx.

Users question CommEx ownership

The news of Binance’s departure has sparked debate in the crypto space concerning who is behind CommEx, the company replacing Binance in Russia. Some users noticed similarities between Binance and CommEx’s websites, with one commenter even suggesting that CommEx was a “full copy” of Binance’s website.

“The only difference is the logo and colors, but the website is identical. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Russian executives who left Binance were the directors at CommEx,” the commenter wrote in a now-deleted post on CommEx’s Telegram group.

A comparison of Binance and CommEx’s privacy notices and other website pages like terms of use reveals that CommEx’s privacy notice is essentially a reworded copy of Binance’s, closely following its structure and many formulations.

Russia has been one of Binance’s most prominent markets, with the country being the top market in terms of user visits for, accounting for 6.9% of total visits, according to SimilarWeb.

“I don’t think CZ [Changpeng Zhao] is willing to give up such a large market like Russia so easily,” one local crypto observer told Cointelegraph. Some people have drawn parallels between CommEx in Russia and Binance.US, Binance’s affiliate in the US, which claims to be “independent” from Binance.

“It looks like a Binance.US but without the word ‘Binance’ in its name,” another local crypto enthusiast told Cointelegraph.

A spokesperson for Binance declined to comment on whether the company was aware of who was behind CommEx. CommEx’s spokesperson declined to comment immediately, saying that the firm was focused on “platform optimization and stability” as the CommEx website briefly went down due to the influx of Russian users after Binance’s announcement. CommEx’s Russian Telegram group, which had only around 50 members before the announcement, now has nearly 2,000 users.

“With this sale, Binance is completely exiting Russia. We don’t have any plans to come back,” a spokesperson for Binance told Cointelegraph.

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