In April 2021, Russia's financial intelligence unit met in Moscow with the regional head of Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange. The Russians wanted Binance to agree to hand over client data, including names and addresses, to help them fight crime, according to text messages the company official sent to a business associate.
At the time, the agency, known as Rosfinmonitoring or Rosfin, was seeking to trace millions of dollars in bitcoin raised by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a person familiar with the matter said. Navalny, whose network Rosfinmonitoring added that month to a list of terrorist organisations, said the donations were used to finance efforts to expose corruption inside President Vladimir Putin's government.
Binance's head of Eastern Europe and Russia ... consented to Rosfin's request to agree to share client data, the messages showed.
Binance's willingness to engage with Rosfin through 2021 contrasted with its approach elsewhere. Some national regulators have accused the company of withholding information.
Binance "will be writing a formal complaint to Reuters under their own editorial code," the statement reads.