Binance crypto exchange forced to scrap swastika-like emoji

Binances logo

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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has had to pull a new emoji after Twitter users said it resembled a swastika.

It tweeted the situation was “obviously really embarrassing” and scrapped the design, adding it was making a new one.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it was unsure how the design passed several layers of review.

The emoji – or hashflag – featured a golden square with four “L” shaped arms reminiscent of the arms of a swastika.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Hashflags are emojis which are added automatically when a Twitter user posts certain hashtags.

Twitter charges brands for their use, and according to trade publication Adweek some brands have paid seven figures for the feature.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Binance deleted tweets featuring the hashflag, as did Changpeng Zhao, the company’s chief executive and founder.

While the swastika is an ancient symbol that predates the rise of fascism, it was the symbol of Nazi Germany. Swastikas continue to be used by far-right extremists.

Russian users

Separately Binance has announced that it will limit services for people in Russia, Russian nationals and businesses based in Russia that hold crypto assets worth more than 10,000 euros (£8,321).

A view of the kremlin

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Those affected will have their accounts put in “withdrawal-only mode”. No deposits or trading will be permitted.

The company said the move followed the latest sanctions imposed by the European Union.

Previously the exchange rejected calls from Ukraine to block Russian users.

Mr Zhao told the BBC in an interview in early March that “many normal Russians do not agree with war”.

In giving notice of these new measures, the company said that while they were potentially restrictive to normal Russian citizens, “Binance must continue to lead the industry in implementing these sanctions”.

It added: “We believe all other major exchanges must follow the same rules soon”.

Binance has committed to donating $10m (£7,661) to humanitarian causes in Ukraine.


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