The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has removed Banco de Venezuela as a payment method in its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading service. This move follows similar actions taken against Russian banks last week and is likely part of efforts to comply with international financial sanctions.
According to Venezuelan users, Banco de Venezuela was removed from the P2P payment options by Binance this week, following a series of removals involving Russian banks. The most significant reason behind this move is a report by The Wall Street Journal on August 24, which alleged that the exchange had been involved in the violation of international financial sanctions.
Banco de Venezuela is one of the largest financial institutions in the country and has consistently held a market share of over 11%, ranking third in the local market according to recent statistics. It was sold to the government for approximately $1 billion by Grupo Santander, a private holding company, in the late 2000s. Sanctions were imposed by the US Treasury Department on Venezuelan government officials and affiliated institutions in response to the suppression of protests in Venezuela in 2014 and 2017.
According to local reports, private Venezuelan banks such as Banesco, Banplus, BBVA Provincial, and others continue to be listed on Binance’s P2P platform. The recent increase in awareness regarding the inclusion of sanctioned banks in crypto P2P payment options came to light last week when The Wall Street Journal revealed that Tinkoff Bank and Sberbank were available as transfer methods on Binance.
On the same day, Tinkoff and Sberbank were no longer visible on Binance’s P2P platform, but the “yellow” and “green” options representing their brand colors remained. On August 25, journalists confirmed with a Binance spokesperson that the sanctioned banks had been completely removed from the list.
On August 28, two other major cryptocurrency exchanges, OKX and Bybit, followed Binance’s lead by removing sanctioned Russian banks from their payment options.