This article previously contained statements implying that Binance DEX itself — rather than its website — was geoblocking users. It has been updated for accuracy.
The decentralized exchange (DEX) developed by major cryptocurrency exchange Binance will block website access to users based in 29 countries. The Binance DEX website informs potential users of the restriction via a message that appears when accessing the platform from one of the regions.
The message appearing on the platform states that accessing the website from certain countries will be restricted starting on July 1:
“It seems you are accessing www.binance.org from an IP address belonging to one of the following countries:
USA, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Burma, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cote D’Ivoire, the Crimea region of Ukraine, Croatia, Cuba, Herzegovina, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, or Zimbabwe.”
Pop-up when accessing binance.org from within the U.S.
The pop-up also warns about how trading and accessing the wallet interface through the website will be blocked for users with IP addresses from the aforementioned countries, regardless of their actual location.
Lastly, the message also links to a list of wallets supporting the Binance Chain (BNB) mainnet, suggesting them as alternatives for holding, managing and trading assets on Binance DEX.
Many in the crypto community characterized the finding as an indication that the DEX is in fact not decentralized. A Twitter user well known among crypto enthusiasts, Whale Panda, commented:
“Reminder that it was never a DEX so stop calling it a DEX. It's just a word they used to pump $BNB, it was never meant to be decentralized.”
A Steemit post dedicated to the topic links to a list of suggested crypto asset trading platforms that do not require users to go through Know Your Customer procedures.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted on June 2 that the notion that the DEX itself was geoblocking users is false:
“The messages being passed is wrong. binance.org (the website) blocks certain countries; DEX (the blockchain) does not, it can't.”
As Cointelegraph reported at the time, Binance launched its decentralized trading platform earlier than planned, in the second half of April.
Yesterday, June 1, Cointelegraph reported that the largest portion of traffic directed at crypto exchanges globally comes from the U.S., followed by Japan.
At the end of last year, Time reported that bitcoin (BTC) has a substantial liberating potential thanks, among other things, to the inability of authorities to control access to it.