Binance removed its “yellow” and “green” payment options from its peer-to-peer (P2P) service on August 25 after it was criticized for using these codewords to represent sanctioned Russian banks, as confirmed by Cointelegraph.
Binance’s peer-to-peer exchange service is a message board that allows users to make offers to buy or sell cryptocurrencies. It also works as a crypto deposit service. However, unlike Binance’s main exchange, fiat payments are handled by users and fiat money does not go through Binance’s servers.
On the same day, Cointelegraph confirmed that the “yellow” and “green” payment methods have been removed. Sixteen payment methods are still available for converting Russian rubles to cryptocurrencies, including Raiffeisenbank, Russian Standard Bank, Payeer, AdvCash and others. However, Tinkoff and Rosbank are no longer listed as their code equivalents.
Despite their official removal, Cointelegraph noted that Binance P2P users continue to advertise sales with “green bank” as their payment method. These users list other payment methods such as Russian Standard Bank or Ak Bars Bank in the ‘payment method’ field, but then make it clear in their ‘advertiser terms’ that they will only accept transfers using a ‘green bank’.
This way, users will be able to continue using Binance P2P to sell cryptocurrencies via authorized payment methods.
Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency markets have sparked controversy since their inception. Supporters say such markets are necessary to avoid government censorship of payments, while opponents say they are used by criminals to transfer funds illegally.
One of the most popular peer-to-peer marketplaces before 2023 was LocalBitcoins. But earlier this year disabled and several users have moved to Binance P2P.
Paxful co-founder Ray Youssef argued on August 25 that P2P marketplaces are still too centralized and vulnerable to government shutdowns. Youssef is working on a new marketplace called “Civ Kit” and says it will be much harder for governments to shut it down.
Translation of Walter Rizzo