The new bill aims to prevent approved Russians from using cryptocurrencies.

If approved, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will have the power to block US crypto exchanges from processing wallet transactions in Russia.

A new bill has been proposed that would give Biden’s administration more power to crack down on Russians using cryptocurrencies to avoid economic sanctions.

The move is proposed by US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a longtime critic of digital assets.

If approved, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will have the power to block US crypto exchanges from processing wallet transactions in Russia. The department will also be asked to effectively name and embarrass foreign trading platforms that are “high risk” for sanctions, money laundering or other illegal activities.

The president, meanwhile, will need to “identify foreign digital asset actors who are facilitating sanctions against Russia” – and Biden will have the authority to freeze their assets.

U.S. taxpayers will also be affected by the Digital Assets Restrictions Act, as they will be forced to file forms if they are involved in offshore crypto transactions worth more than $ 10,000.

Cryptocurrency is being debated.

Warren’s move comes in the wake of fears that cryptocurrencies could be used to offset the effects of economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, several blockchain intelligence firms – and some US officials – have said that given the small size of the corrupt market, this is unlikely to be a major concern and the fact that the flow of funds to the blockchain can be traced. Is.

While the choice of Visa and MasterCard has suspended its operations in Russia, cryptocurrency exchanges have been criticized for failing to do so. In a statement, Warren added:

“Putin and his cronies can move, store, and hide their wealth using cryptocurrencies, potentially allowing them to evade the historic economic sanctions the U.S. and its partners across the world have levied in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine.”

Warren sits on the Senate Banking Committee – and the proposed bill comes despite the co-founder of the blockchain intelligence firm telling the committee that the issue is not widespread. Jonathan Lyon of Chainalysis said:

“We have not seen evidence of Russia or Putin systematically using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions.”

In recent days, rival blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic has said it has identified hundreds of thousands of corrupt addresses with approved Russian individuals and business links – and a digital wallet containing “significant cryptocurrency holdings” worth millions of dollars.

And earlier this month, Coinbase confirmed that more than 25,000 addresses belonged to “Russian individuals or entities we believe are involved in illegal activities.”

Elliptic stressed that it is cooperating with government agencies to ensure that corrupt assets cannot be used to hide wealth, adding:

“Crypto wallets are fundamentally different from bank accounts. Funds can be moved through thousands of new addresses at the click of a button — meaning that sanctions screening requires more than simply matching customers’ wallet addresses with those published on sanctions lists in order to be effective.”

Warren’s bill will undoubtedly affect crypto exchanges if it passes – and it is unclear whether stricter rules will force these trading platforms to suspend their services in the country altogether.

Several major trading platforms have indicated that they will cut off Russian consumers if they are legally bound to do so, but argue that this is not their place to decide for themselves.

Leave a Comment