The world’s largest crypto exchange continues to shrink its global operations amid heightened scrutiny from regulators and prosecutors.
On Tuesday, Binance announced it was selling its Russian entity to CommEX, another crypto platform whose X (formerly Twitter) account says—as well as its website—that the exchange officially launched the same day. Neither party disclosed financial details.
With the sale to CommEX, Binance said it will “fully exits Russia”—there is no revenue split with the new exchange and no option to buy back shares. The transition process will be gradual and will take up to one year, the firm added.
“As we look toward the future, we recognise that operating in Russia is not compatible with Binance’s compliance strategy,” Noah Perlman, Binance’s chief compliance officer, said in a statement. “We remain confident in the long-term growth of the web3 industry around the world and will focus our energy on the 100+ other countries in which we operate.”
An email address listed for CommEX did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Fortune. No details about where the exchange is registered or the identities of the company’s CEO or senior management were immediately apparent.
The sale of Binance’s Russia entity follows previous reports that the crypto exchange was doing business with lenders sanctioned by a bloc of Western countries after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At least five lenders, according to the Wall Street Journal, were processing payments for peer-to-peer transactions, or when an exchange’s customers buy and sell to each other rather than through a market maker.
Binance’s exit from Russia also follows a recent spate of others, including from France, Cyprus, and the Netherlands. Binance also said it was leaving Belgium, but it recently reversed course, saying registrations for new users were now open.
A 136-page lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission precipitated Binance’s flights from a slew of international locales. “Through thirteen charges, we allege that Zhao and Binance entities engaged in an extensive web of deception, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and calculated evasion of the law,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement.
After the government filed the lawsuit, the crypto exchange, headed by CEO Changpeng Zhao, has fallen into comparative disarray. A suite of executives have left over Zhao’s response to an ongoing Justice Department investigation, Binance has conducted a series of layoffs, and Binance.US, the exchange’s U.S. counterpart, has seen trading volume plummet.
In a Russian Telegram group for CommEX, one user asked, shortly after the group’s creation, for details about who exactly owns and runs CommEX.
Another responded: “I think it’s so obvious.”
A spokesperson for Binance reiterated to Fortune that the company has fully exited Russia: “Neither Binance nor its executives have shares or profit sharing with CommEx.”