Binance Removes P2P Support for Banco de Venezuela

Binance discontinues support for Venezuela’s Banco de Venezuela to avoid sanctions violations, following similar actions with Russian banks.

On August 28th, the cryptocurrency exchange Binance ceased its support for Banco de Venezuela, one of the largest banks in Venezuela, which holds 60% of the country’s total banking assets.

The measure was announced by several users, including Ana Gabriela Ojeda, a Venezuelan lawyer recognized on social media as @criptolawyer. They observed the removal of Banco de Venezuela’s payment method from the Binance P2P platform without prior notice.

Usuarios de #binance en Venezuela 🇻🇪 reportan que no ven la opción de Banco de Venezuela en el P2P.

Hasta tanto no exista un pronunciamiento del exchange recomiendo no especular, sin embargo no seria dificil imaginar que tratandose del banco mas grande del Estado Venezolano, es…

— Criptolawyer (@criptolawyer) August 28, 2023

Binance’s Effort to Avoid Sanctions Violation

The withdrawal of support for Banco de Venezuela follows Binance’s suspension of several sanctioned Russian banks’ accounts last week. This move was likely an attempt to adhere to international financial sanctions since Binance is facing demands in the US and struggling to obtain licenses for operations in other countries.

Hence, even without an official statement, it can be inferred that Binance is striving to prevent transactions that may breach American sanctions on Venezuela.

As per the Telegram statement from Binance ambassadors, it’s possible that other banks not adhering to the company’s compliance policies might also be removed.

“We routinely update our systems to ensure compliance with local and international regulatory standards. In line with our ongoing commitments, payment methods on the Binance P2P platform that don’t align with our compliance policies will no longer be available. Binance P2P users can choose from other available payment methods to continue using the platform.”

Although a few users might still be able to employ Banco de Venezuela’s payment method, Binance cautions against its use since the support has been terminated. The platform “no longer accepts this payment method,” and thus, they won’t assist users with any issues that may arise during the use of Binance P2P.

“Even if other users do it [publish or transact using Banco de Venezuela], I wouldn’t recommend it. If such users are suspended, you could also face that risk.”

For now, to the relief of many, private Venezuelan banks like BBVA Provincial, Banesco, and Banplus, among others, continue to be available on Binance’s P2P platform.

Balancing Compliance and Customer Service

Ana Ojeda, noted in a CoinSpeaker interview that on August 28th, Binance might have been testing the reaction of Venezuelan users to the removal of Banco de Venezuela to gauge the response.

“There is ample evidence that Binance was informing users that they wouldn’t support the Banco de Venezuela option anymore due to local and international regulatory compliance, which is entirely false. As I mentioned in the video, there are no new regulations applicable to Binance at the local level that didn’t exist before.”

Furthermore, the lawyer emphasized understanding the “political and legal context” surrounding cryptocurrencies in the U.S., where the country doesn’t aim to encourage their use but rather restrict or pursue them. This is the intriguing aspect that gives weight to the lawsuit against, considering that Venezuela’s P2P market is one of the largest in Latin America.

“One could presume that as a result of that lawsuit, Binance wants to mitigate the risks. Even if the name ‘Venezuela’ wasn’t included in the lawsuit, it might not be in Binance’s interest to have a sanctioned bank within its platform. This isn’t new for Binance, as the sanctions date back to 2019.”

Hence, although suspending Banco de Venezuela’s accounts reduces Binance’s exposure to sanctions, the cryptocurrency giant must strike a balance between compliance and maintaining services for Venezuelans relying on crypto to navigate the economic crisis.

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Marco T. Lanz

Marco is a passionate journalist with a deep addiction to cryptocurrencies and a keen interest in photography. He is fascinated by trading and market analysis. He has 5+ years of experience working with cryptocurrency projects.

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