The national security division of the United States Department of Justice has initiated a probe into Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, for possible violations of U.S. sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The investigation is specifically looking into whether Binance permitted Russian customers to access its platform in breach of the sanctions, according to a Bloomberg report that cited five individuals familiar with the situation.
This is not the only high-profile inquiry against Binance. In 2021, the Internal Revenue Service launched a joint investigation with the global exchange. Additionally, since early 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been scrutinizing Binance over its connection with two firms owned by its founder, Changpeng Zhao.
Neither Binance nor the Justice Department has commented on the investigation yet.
Binance has previously stated that it complies with all U.S. and international financial sanctions and has also emphasized the size of its compliance team, which it claims is made up of 700 members and handles over 1,300 law enforcement requests on a weekly basis. Nevertheless, the exchange is facing legal action from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allegedly providing unregistered crypto derivatives products in the United States.