Binance’s Has Been Blacklisted in Russia Since Sept; New Ruling Removes the Restriction

Binance’s Has Been Blacklisted in Russia Since Sept; New Ruling Removes the Restriction

  • The World’s largest crypto exchange in terms of capitalization, Binance, has been removed from the blacklisted websites in Russia following a court order.
  • Binance’s website was formally blacklisted in September last year by the Russian regulators. However, the exchange’s trading in the country has not been affected.

According to a popular news agency, Kommersant, on Jan. 21, Arkhangelsk Regional Court ordered that the Binance website be expunged from the list of blacklisted websites in the country.

The head of Binance Russia, Gleb Kostarev, confirmed to Bitcoin Exchange Guide that the reports were indeed true explaining that the court session was held on Jan. 20. The court’s decision read,

“Issuance and usage of bitcoins are fully decentralized, and there is no way to regulate it by the government, which contradicts the current Russian law.”

Binance’s website was blacklisted in June after Arkhangelsk Regional Court sided with local prosecutors, arguing that the firm was aiding in distributing information regarding Bitcoin, unlicensed crypto in the country. According to Kostarev, Binance Russia was not issued with a formal notification of the court hearing and only realized the blacklisting by the regulator, Roskomnadzor, three months later. Kostarev stated that the failure to notify the company made it difficult to defend its rights properly in court.

The ruling which was seen by CoinDesk indicates that the prosecutors extracted their complaint after Binance moved to challenge the decision.

Cryptos such as Bitcoin is legal in Russia even after the digital assets law was adopted on Jan.1. The law states that cryptos are legal taxable properties. The country also adopted another order requiring civil servants to declare their crypto holdings for taxation purposes.

Kostarev explained that the blacklisting of the firm’s website had no major effect on its trading volumes.

“Though the September ban had no impact on our volumes in Russia, for us, it was important to protect our reputation and appeal in this case.”

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Author: Joseph Kibe

40 Ethereum Addresses Blacklisted, Holding Millions of Dollars Worth of Tether’s USDT

Tether, the creator of the leading stablecoin USDT, has been on a blacklisting spree and has blacklisted at least 39 Ethereum addresses since November 2017. Out of these 40 addresses, 25 have been blacklisted this year.

Philippe Castonguay, an Ethereum researcher, has created a dashboard that shows the number and list of addresses blacklisted by Tether up until now. All these blacklisted addresses would not be able to send or receive USDT, and the existing tokens in these addresses became useless. All the blacklisted addresses contain the millions worth of USDT and even one of the latest blacklisted address contain over a $1 million worth of tokens.

The million-dollar Ethereum address received 938,965 USDT tokens from Binance only last month. The owner of the address tried moving the funds the next day. It got blacklisted, but the transactions never went through.

Among all the blacklisted addresses, a majority of them contain around $100 USDT on average. However, the most valuable address consists of $4.5 million worth of USDT, along with 330,000 BUSD tokens and 13,500 ETH in it.

The blacklisting is mainly done if the address is suspected to be involved in any form of illegal or unusual activity and often on the request of authorities. As of right now, no one knows who owns these Ethereum addresses containing millions worth of cryptocurrencies.

Bitfinex, a sister company of Tether’s Stuart Hoegner the general counsel, commented on the recent slew of blacklisting and said,

“Tether routinely assists law enforcement in their investigations… Through the freeze address feature, Tether has been able to help users and exchanges to save and recover tens of millions of dollars stolen from them by hackers.”

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Author: James W

US Treasury Blacklists Two North Korean Lazarus Group Hackers BTC Addresses

  • The 20 Bitcoin addresses have been blacklisted for their association with N.Korea.

The US Treasury Office’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has blacklisted 20 new Bitcoin (BTC) addresses for their connection to two names from its sanctioned individuals list.

As the OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list’s update says: Yinyin Tian and Jiadong Li have been involved with the Lazarus Group, infamous for hacking activities and affiliations with North Korea’s government.

Conspiracy to Launder Money and Operating an Unlicensed Business

The Lazarus Group has allegedly stolen over half of a billion dollars worth of crypto and targeted 14 different crypto exchanges since 2018, according to the cybersecurity vendor-  Group-IB.

Unsealed Court documents reveal charges against Tian and Li such as conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and operating an unlicensed money transmission business.

A press release from the Treasure Department added that $91 million has been stolen from a crypto exchange, in addition to $9.5 million from another.

No Bitcoin Held at the Addresses

According to Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary,

“The North Korean regime has continued its widespread campaign of cyber-attacks on financial institutions to steal funds. The United States will continue to protect the global financial system by holding accountable those who help North Korea engage in cyber-crime.”

The blacklisted addresses appear to have had thousands of BTC processed through them, but at the moment they don’t hold any cryptocurrency.

OFAC Blacklisting Crypto Addresses for the Third Time

The OFAC has blacklisted crypto addresses for the third time after in 2018, it had released to the public BTC addresses connected to 2 Iranian citizens accused of ransomware transactions.

In 2019, a Litecoin (LTC) and several BTC addresses affiliated with 3 Chinese citizens charged with violating drug smuggling and money laundering laws have been made public too.

Meanwhile, Russian entities connected with the Independent Petroleum Company were deleted from the sanctions list on Monday, when the new 20 BTC addresses have been added.

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Author: Oana Ularu