The Ministry of Finance found that cryptocurrencies as part of penalty against Russia is included in “deceptive or structured transactions or actions” for the purpose of evading sanctions. It is thought that cryptocurrencies are not suitable for large-scale sanction evasion.
Bitcoin is part of the sanctions
US companies and individuals are being warned by the Treasury Department (and reportedly the White House as well) that it has no intention of participating in transactions with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to or from any Russian entity or individual on the sanctions list.
Several people are concerned about a possible escape from these sanctions, including Senator and prominent bitcoin critic Elizabeth Warren.
To appropriately into Chapter 1, paragraph ii, G., of persons engaged in: “Deceptive or structured transactions or transactions to evade United States sanctions, including through the use of currency or digital assets or the use of physical assets.”
Cryptocurrencies are not suitable
“The unprecedented actions we are taking today will significantly limit Russia’s ability to use assets to finance destabilizing activities,” citing a press release from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “Today, together with partners and allies, we are fulfilling an important commitment to limiting Russia’s access to this valuable resource,” Yellen said.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are seen as a way for Russia to evade sanctions. But given the transparent nature of the underlying blockchain technology and the costs of using a mixer, for example, this isn’t easy.
Although Moscow is seen by data analytics firm Chainanlysis as a major hub for laundering cryptocurrencies caught in ransomware attacks, for example, the US Treasury does not see this as a major problem. “Given the magnitude of what they need to move and where to move, cryptocurrencies needn’t be a concern,” said Treasury adviser Todd Conklin.
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