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Russia using crypto to evade sanctions?

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The US, EU and various other countries including Canada and Japan have bandied together to carry out additional actions in an attempt to stymy Russian attempts to evade previously imposed sanctions.

According to a statement published by the White House yesterday:

“Treasury’s expansive actions against Russia require all US persons to comply with sanctions regulations regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in traditional fiat currency or virtual currency… Treasury is closely monitoring any efforts to circumvent or violate Russia-related sanctions, including through the use of virtual currency, and is committed to using its broad enforcement authorities to act against violations and to promote compliance.”

Comments by UK regulators echoed those made by US and EU counterparts:

“Financial sanctions regulations do not differentiate between crypto assets and other forms of assets… The use of crypto assets to circumvent economic sanctions is a criminal offense.”

There are additional concerns that crypto friendly states like the UAE will be used to evade sanctions with a growing number of enquiries into the possibility of using cryptocurrency to purchase real estate in such areas.

However, given the ease with which these transactions can be tracked, I doubt the concerns are that warranted.


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