Binance taps former central bank exec to push compliance in CIS and Russia

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Binance makes another major strategic move in one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency miner regions.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is putting more effort into increasing compliance in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Russia and Ukraine.

Binance is planning to extend its operations in the region and boost local cryptocurrency compliance and education, Gleb Kostarev, Binance’s head of operations for Russia and the CIS, told Cointelegraph on Tuesday. The company additionally expects to focus on the local Binance Smart Chain (BSC) development and community, he noted.

As part of the effort, Binance announced several local hires, including Olga Goncharova, Binance’s new director of government relations in Russia and the CIS.

Goncharova previously served at the Bank of Russia as director of the bank’s report processing department from 2014. She was responsible for processing financial statements from companies under the central bank’s supervision, also leading several Bank of Russia’s projects related to fintech and digital transformation.

“Binance places a great emphasis on regulation and compliance in jurisdictions of operation. Binance’s unique community, cutting-edge technology and innovative approach to work give Binance great opportunities for further development,” Goncharova said.

Vladimir Smerkis, co-founder of the cryptocurrency platform Tokenbox, has also joined Binance as director of Binance Russia. Other new regional hires include former BNP Paribas exec Kirill Khomyakov, who will act as general manager of Binance Ukraine.

“With a proven track record, the new executives will certainly have a positive impact on Binance’s growing presence in Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe,” Kostarev said.

Related: Bank of Russia to allow crypto investment via foreign firms

The latest news marks a significant strategic move by Binance as the region has been increasingly emerging as one of the world’s biggest crypto spots and mining centers.

Kazakhstan, a major CIS member state, is the second biggest Bitcoin (BTC) mining country after the United States, responsible for 18% of the total BTC mining hash rate as of October 2021. Going next to Kazakhstan, Russia produces 11% of the entire global BTC mining hash rate and is the third-largest visitor of Binance’s website, according to data from SimilarWeb.

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