Binance Exchange, the largest crypto trading platform by volume has joined the Association of Russian Banks (ARB), extending the foothold as a major stakeholder in the country’s financial ecosystem. As reported by local news platform Prime, the onboarding of Binance was accompanied by the creation of a new department for the association dubbed the Expert Center for Digital Financial Assets and Digital Currencies.
The ARB is arguably the largest banking coalition in Russia with members numbering up to 240. Despite its dominant influence, and almost unresolved brawl back in 2017 has excluded the country’s 8 largest banking institutions including Gazprombank and Sberbank as members of the ARB.
The newly created department is billed to be headed by Binance’s Russia and CIS head Olga Goncharova. According to the Prime report, the new “Expert Center” will help compile “professional opinions on the circulation of digital financial assets and digital currencies,” and provide members “with expert and analytical materials” on the topic of crypto, as well as providing “international experience.”
While Binance has been welcomed into the fold by the ARB executives, the onboarding comes at a time when the Central Bank of Russia is tightening its grip on cryptocurrencies, as well as ecosystem players. While the apex bank has been torn between an outright ban and a regulatory push for cryptocurrencies, it is yet to be seen whether the onboarding of Binance into the ARB can help change the narrative as necessary.
Binance Troubled But Growing its Influence Accordingly
Binance Exchange is arguably the most embattled digital assets brokerage firm at this time, with a recent report alleging the US SEC is investigating the trading platform over its trading affiliates. While it ranks as the number one on many fronts, a number of regulators around the world are cracking down on the exchange, a trend that took a massive turn in 2021.
Now committed to changing the narrative and working towards becoming more regulatory compliant, becoming a member of the ARB is undoubtedly one of the ways the trading platform can grow its influence in Russia and environs.
With the Russian Central Bank likely to introduce legislation that will constrain exchanges to operate through a regulated banking institution, Binance will not have any trouble whatsoever complying now that it is in the company of tens of these banks.