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Binance Russia buyer tightlipped on owners but denies CZ involvement

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Amid growing skepticism about CommEx — Binance’s mysterious buyer in Russia — the newly launched firm has continued denying Binance’s ownership involvement.

On Sept. 29, CommEx issued an open letter to the community, reiterating that the company is not owned by Binance, which announced its exit from Russia by selling the firm to CommEx.

“Although we do not disclose our UBO, we want to make it clear that we are not owned by Binance,” CommEx wrote on its website. A spokesperson for CommEx declined to comment to Cointelegraph about the reasons it won’t share any information about its owners.

“We are a vibrant and efficient start-up team, made up of dozens of passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds,” CommEx said in the announcement, adding that some of its core members are former Binance veterans.

The CommEx announcement said the firm has been developing its platform for six months, during which time they onboarded some ex-Binance employees. “This has allowed us to learn from Binance’s product and operations experiences, establishing indirect connections with them,” CommEx added.

The announcement confirms that former team members of Binance’s division in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are part of CommEx, despite Binance having no ownership in the exchange.

Former employees at Binance CIS will join or may have already joined the new firm, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said on X (formerly Twitter) on Sept. 28. “We think that is a good thing,” he added.

In addition to hiring some ex-Binance employees, CommEx has taken things like design, APIs and even terms of use from Binance. “We asked for this to ensure a smooth user experience,” CZ wrote.

The Binance CEO also stressed that CommEx does not provide services to users based in the United States and Europe. CZ noted that European and U.S. residents will face IP and Know Your Customer blocks when trying to assess CommEx. “This is a term we asked for in the deal,” CZ stated.

According to data from CommEx representatives in the firm’s official Telegram group, CommEx users can trade without completing any KYC checks for up to 2 Bitcoin (BTC), or about $54,000 at the time of writing.

Related: Binance successor in Russia: Everything you need to know about CommEx, so far

CommEx’s unwillingness to disclose information about its owners, paired with having ex-Binance employees and similar website design and APIs, has fueled chatter about Binance being the company’s owner in disguise.

Adam Cochran, a partner at venture capital firm Cinneamhain Ventures, believes that CommEx is “just another shell company by Binance.”

On the other hand, some crypto observers believe that such a move would undermine Binance’s whole decision to leave Russia. “Obviously U.S. authorities could quickly determine if the new owners were simply straw men for Binance. This would make the situation look even worse than if Binance just held onto the business,” Lesperance & Associates founder David Lesperance told Cointelegraph.

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