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    The Ukrainian government has temporarily halted plans to integrate the Binance payment system

    As a sign of their displeasure, local crypto exchanges and entrepreneurs have blocked BNB trades.

    Ukraine has temporarily shelved plans to integrate Binance’s cryptocurrency payment service into the government’s official app due to criticism from the country’s cryptocurrency community.


    A government minister has stated that the integration is currently on hold, so “clarifying a few moments” can take place.
    Anger has been rising in Ukraine since it was announced that the country’s government was planning to integrate a service from Binance, the largest exchange in the world by volume, despite Binance continuing to do business with Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February. Cryptocurrency exchanges in Ukraine are opposed to a foreign company offering a service they already provide. They made their disapproval known by preventing the trading of Binance’s BNB token on their respective markets.

    According to Forklog, a Ukrainian cryptocurrency news outlet, Binance had integrated its KYC procedure into the Diva mobile app by the end of October. Ukrainians can now use Diva to access government services and create digital versions of state-issued documents from the comfort of their own homes.


    The Ministry of Digital Transformation, the Ukrainian government agency in charge of IT development and the driving force behind the creation and widespread adoption of Diia, did not respond to requests for comment.
    Kyrylo Khomyakov, general manager of Binance in Ukraine, told Forklog that Ukrainians could register on the crypto exchange more quickly if they used the Binance system.


    A representative for Binance told NFT Today Magazine in an email that “it’s early to discuss the initiative.”
    If and when the government is ready and selects preferred areas, Binance “suggested our expertise and technology for integrating blockchain into the government services,” the spokesperson said.

    The immediate backlash from the local crypto community is one “moment” that might require explanation. Kuna, WhiteBit, and Trustee Plus, three cryptocurrency exchanges and a cryptocurrency lending service, petitioned Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to halt the proposed regulation. Trading of Binance’s token, BNB, was also suspended.
    An anonymous Ukrainian crypto entrepreneur said, “All the attention now is on Binance, and local exchanges are upset.”
    Vadym Arusha, CEO of Trustee Plus, told NFT Today Magazine that merging a government service with a foreign corporation is morally wrong. He said there are local cryptocurrency exchanges and payment systems in Ukraine, citing the examples of Kuna and WhiteBit. “With a product no worse than Binance,” he claimed.


    Although Kuna, WhiteBit, and Trustee are officially registered outside of Ukraine, their founders and teams are Ukrainian. All three were initially based in Ukraine before being forced to relocate due to the invasion.
    Neither is safe for the government nor is it patriotic, Hrusha said. “And China is not Ukraine’s friend, and Binance is a Chinese company. What information they are transmitting, and to whom, is unknown to us. We Ukrainians are at risk of exclusion at any time.”


    While Binance’s CEO and founder, Changing Zhao, was born in China, he spent his formative years in Canada, and the company makes no claims to being a Chinese enterprise. To this day, he maintains that Binance is not a Chinese company.
    After the latest round of European Union sanctions against Russia, Hrusha said that Binance “does not have a straightforward position on Ukraine” because the exchange did not exclude Russian users. This happened in some European and U.S. exchanges. While Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has stated that the company’s European Union operations will not provide services to Russian citizens, other Binance divisions are under no obligation.


    The Ukrainian crypto community was not happy with this stance. Kuna Exchange CEO Michael Chobanyan told NFT Today Magazine locals had successfully stalled the integration plan. Chobanyan also demands that Binance eliminate trading pairs involving the Russian ruble, which he claims facilitates the circumvention of sanctions against Russia.
    Relations between the crypto communities of Russia and Ukraine have worsened since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and began a full-scale war. This fall’s Blockchain Life conference in Moscow, which went on as planned despite Russia’s assault on its neighbor, was the final straw for Chobanyan.


    When asked about the war in his country, Chobanyan said, “Houses are ruined, all my childhood memories destroyed, and at the same time they are doing a conference, talking about how great everything is.” He continued by saying that he used to be against crypto sanctions but has since become more radical. He said that you either work in Russia or the “civilized world,” he said.

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