Binance Loses Grip On Russia: Web Traffic Plunges 30% After Exit

The winds of change are blowing through the Russian cryptocurrency market. Following Binance’s exit in early 2024, a digital exodus has unfolded, with users scrambling to find new platforms to house their digital assets.

This shift in allegiance, however, has presented an unexpected opportunity for local players, igniting a land grab for dominance in the world’s largest nation by landmass.

Crypto Market Heats Up Despite Binance Chill

The Bank of Russia’s latest report paints a fascinating picture. While Binance’s grip on the market loosened considerably – its web traffic share plummeting from 47% to a mere 16% in just a quarter – overall crypto activity surged.

Web traffic across all major crypto platforms, including exchanges, peer-to-peer platforms, and over-the-counter services, shot up by a healthy 16.4% compared to the previous six months. This upswing coincides with a period of rising valuations in the crypto market, suggesting a growing appetite for digital assets among Russian users.

Binance’s retreat left a gaping hole, and a host of local contenders are stepping up to fill it. The report identifies a collective of five unnamed exchanges that have seen their web traffic share balloon from 39% to a commanding 64% in the same period. This meteoric rise suggests that these local platforms are effectively capturing the wave of users migrating away from Binance.

Crypto Engagement On The Rise

The crypto market churn isn’t just about traffic – it’s about user engagement as well. The Bank of Russia reports a significant increase in the average monthly number of unique users (identified by IP addresses) on these platforms. This growth is accompanied by a rise in the proportion of Russian internet visits directed towards crypto sites, indicating a deepening interest in the digital asset space.

The data doesn’t stop there. The report highlights a substantial increase in the inflows and outflows of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and USD Coin by Russian users.

This activity translates to a staggering 4.5 trillion rubles (roughly $51 billion), a 15.6% jump compared to the previous half-year. These figures underscore the significant role cryptocurrencies are playing in the Russian financial landscape.

The Shadow Of Rug Pulls: Security Concerns Loom Large

While the market is thriving, a dark cloud hangs overhead – the specter of rug pulls. The recent scandal surrounding Beribit, a Russian exchange allegedly linked to a Ukrainian oligarch, serves as a stark reminder of the security risks associated with some platforms.

Beribit’s alleged disappearance with a reported $4 million of user funds has understandably shaken confidence and intensified the demand for reliable alternatives.

The departure of Binance has undoubtedly reshaped the Russian crypto market. With new players emerging, user activity rising, and security concerns demanding attention, the coming months will be crucial in determining the future of this dynamic digital landscape.

Featured image from Unsplash, chart from TradingView