In a move to comply with international financial sanctions, major cryptocurrency exchanges OKX and Bybit have removed Tinkoff Bank and Sberbank from their list of available options for peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. This action follows a similar move by Binance, another leading crypto exchange.
Russian media reports indicate that users of OKX and Bybit can no longer perform fiat-to-crypto transactions via accounts in Tinkoff Bank or Sberbank. Neither OKX nor Bybit has made any official announcements regarding these changes, but the exclusion is effective at the time of reporting. Meanwhile, OKX continues to allow transactions via accounts in the Russian branches of Raiffeisen Bank and Russian Standard Bank, which are not under U.S. sanctions.
The attention towards sanctioned Russian banks being listed as payment options on crypto exchanges gained momentum last week when The Wall Street Journal reported that Binance had listed Tinkoff Bank and Sberbank as possible transfer methods. Following the report, both banks were removed from Binance’s P2P platform, although options resembling their brand colors briefly remained.
Interestingly, users on Binance’s P2P platform continue to post ads specifying “the green bank” (presumably referring to Sberbank due to its brand color) as a preferred payment option. Similarly, according to media reports, users on OKX and Bybit are still providing options for P2P exchange through these sanctioned banks via private communication.
This situation highlights the ongoing challenges in enforcing financial sanctions in the decentralized world of cryptocurrencies. Despite official policy changes, some users are still attempting to circumvent the restrictions.