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Exmo, a UK-based crypto exchange with an extensive presence in Eastern Europe, is pulling out of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The trading platform, Exmo.com, says it is taking steps to avoid jeopardizing its expansion into other regions by operating in high-risk markets like these. The company was sold to a Russian supplier, along with the rights to the Exmo.me domain and brand.
Eastern Europe’s leading exchange, Exmo, announced earlier this week that it was selling off its digital assets business in Russia and Belarus. The company explained the “difficult decision” as efforts to avoid risking its global expansion plans by working in those countries. Both countries have been the target of Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“In addition, our Russian UBO, Eduard Bark, is leaving the company, transferring his stake as part of a response to one of our directors, Serhii Zhdanov,” Exmo pointed out. “Clients from Kazakhstan have also been included as part of the deal, as a new team is based in Kazakhstan,” the press release further revealed.
The Exmo.com User Agreement was recently amended to indicate that Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh residents are no longer onboarded. The exchange also reminded traders that pairs with the Russian ruble on the Exmo.com platform have been disabled since April 15, 2022.
According to its website, Exmo currently has offices in the UK, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, the US and Cyprus, and employs over 200 people. “As a company, we are very confident and positive about the future of our business and view the new corporate structure as commercially viable and sustainable,” a statement read.
Exmo transfers Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh crypto exchange business to owner of Russian-based software development company, one of the vendors that has provided engineering services to the exchange for the past three years years, the announcement unveiled without identifying the new entity.
According to the crypto news page of the Russian business news portal RBC, the ownership of Exmo’s assets in the three markets was transferred to a company called “ЭКСМО РБК ТОО” (EXMO RBC LLP) on March 31 this year. .
Nothing will change for customers in the three jurisdictions, a representative explained, as the new platform has the right to use the same branding, software and technical developments as well as the official Exmo.me domain. The transformation will allow the exchange to work more effectively with payment systems, banks and actively participate in the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the region.
Exmo.me does not plan to restrict Russians’ access to cryptocurrencies, a company official said in another RBC report on Thursday. The spokesperson also assured that the exchange will seek to expand its operations in Russia while stressing:
We see great potential in the Russian Federation region and will continue to actively develop the Russian part of the business and follow the long-term plans of the previous team.
Crypto firms working in the Russian market are facing increasing restrictions as Western governments continue to expand sanctions against the ongoing war in Ukraine, some of which are aimed at closing loopholes in the crypto space. Following the news of Exmo’s split, its main competitor in Russia, Binance, announced that it was limiting services to Russian users to comply with the latest EU sanctions.
Do you expect other crypto exchanges to leave the Russian market? Let us know in the comments section below.
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