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Binance Has Enabled Iranians Transact $8 Billion Despite Sanctions

Since 2018, crypto exchange Binance has carried out Iranian transactions worth $8 billion despite being slapped with U.S. sanctions, according to Reuters. 

Reportedly, approximately $7.8 billion has flowed between Nobitex, Iran’s largest crypto exchange, and Binance based on data availed by blockchain analytic firm Chainalysis. 

Per the report:

“Three-quarters of the Iranian funds that passed through Binance were in a relatively low-profile cryptocurrency called Tron that gives users an option to conceal their identities.”

The U.S. sanctions are meant to cut off Iran from the global financial system. Nevertheless, Nobitex has devised ways to circumvent them because it encourages its users to utilize Tron, a mid-tier token, for anonymous trading. 

Industry data indicated that Binance was the largest crypto exchange for Tron trading. Per the report:

“The total volume of Iranian transactions flowing through Binance is far greater than through any other exchange. After Binance, the next most popular exchange for Nobitex users since 2018 was Seychelles-based KuCoin, which processed $820 million in direct and indirect transactions.”

Apart from Tron, the other cryptocurrencies used in Iranian transactions included Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Tether (USDT), and Litecoin (LTC).

The report also disclosed that crypto worth $5 billion was transacted between Binance and Iranian exchanges using intermediary layers. 

Binance has reiterated in the past that it does not aid illicit funds based on its transaction monitoring tools. Patrick Hillmann, Binance spokesperson, stated:

“Binance uses transaction monitoring and risk assessments to ensure that any illegal funds are tracked, frozen, recovered and/or returned to their rightful owner.”

Meanwhile, Ziya Sadr, an Iranian Bitcoin advocate, was recently arrested by the nation’s security forces, Blockchain.News reported.

Sadr’s arrest came amid widespread anti-government protests following the killing of a 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini who died in police custody. Iranian authorities arrested at least 35 journalists in connection with the widespread demonstrations.

Image source: Shutterstock

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