Crypto exchange Binance helped Iranian firms trade $8 billion despite sanctions
Crypto giant Binance has processed Iranian transactions with a value of $8 billion since 2018 despite U.S. sanctions intended to cut Iran off from the global financial system, blockchain data show, News.az reports citing Reuters.
Almost all the funds, some $7.8 billion, flowed between Binance and Iran's largest crypto exchange, Nobitex, according to a review of data from leading U.S. blockchain researcher Chainalysis. Nobitex offers guidance on its website on how to skirt sanctions.
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. In a blog post last year, Nobitex encouraged clients to use Tron - a mid-tier token - to trade anonymously without "endangering assets due to sanctions."
The scale of Binance's Iranian crypto flows – and the fact that they are continuing – has not been previously reported.
The new findings come as the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing an investigation into possible violations of money-laundering rules by Binance, which dominates the $1 trillion crypto industry, with over 120 million users. The transactions put the company at risk of falling afoul of U.S. prohibitions on doing business with Iran, lawyers and trade-sanctions experts said.