According to reports, the Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance has expanded its blockade of Zimbabwean users to include non-resident citizens. Due to the implementation of the new measures, all Zimbabwean nationals are now unable to use the Binance trading platform.
Zimbabwean nationals are blocked
Before launching this new measure, Binance apparently allowed Zimbabwean nationals with non-Zimbabwean addresses to access its trading platform, while those living in the country were blocked. Nevertheless, some encrypted users in Zimbabwe are able to circumvent this blockade by installing virtual private network (VPN) applications on their devices. The new measures seem to plug these loopholes.
In a letter to a user, Binance, which recently appointed former U.S. banking regulator Brian Brooks as its U.S. chief executive officer, declined to say that it is now strictly implementing the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) measures against Zimbabwe. On the contrary, the cryptocurrency exchange warned that Zimbabwean users will face consequences if they fail to withdraw their digital assets in time. The letter explained:
In addition, this undated letter warned affected users to “withdraw all funds as soon as possible within three days.” After that, the trading account will be permanently deactivated.
Decided to be slammed
At the same time, an affected user criticized the new Binance policy of targeting users “based on nationality rather than location.” Although Binance has so far refused to provide users with the reasons for its actions, the new measures indicate that the exchange may be trying to get rid of the perception that it facilitates money launderers and tax evaders.
As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, Binance has been under investigation by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Therefore, by excluding all Zimbabwean users from its trading platform, Binance may demonstrate its renewed interest in complying with the sanctions policies of the US government.
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