US Treasury Department Formally Adds Crypto Rules to Russian Sanctions Guidance
The U.S. government is warning crypto exchanges not to facilitate transactions for individuals and entities newly added to its sanctions list.
The Treasury Department published new regulations banning U.S. persons from providing any support to certain Russian oligarchs and entities as part of an ongoing effort to sanction Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, with the rules taking effect on March 1.
“All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in … deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent any United States sanctions, including through the use of digital currencies or assets or the use of physical assets,” the document said.
The U.S., alongside a coalition of European and other nations has been sanctioning Russian officials and its President Vladimir Putin after military forces invaded Ukraine last week. These sanctions include seizing international assets held by Russia’s central bank, as well as its largest commercial and state-owned banks.
The coalition of nations has also announced they plan to disconnect some of Russia’s largest banks from SWIFT, the interbank messaging network underpinning much of the global financial system.
The regulations published Monday apply to U.S.-based entities. U.S. officials are also asking exchanges around the world to prevent Russian entities from evading sanctions using cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg reported Monday.
Treasury Department officials have already asked Binance, FTX and Coinbase to block sanctioned persons and addresses. Binance and FTX are not headquartered in the U.S.
Binance, alongside several other exchanges, have publicly stated they will not block all Russian users or IP addresses, despite entreaties from Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov.
According to Bloomberg, Binance at least may be willing to block wallets belonging to individuals on the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Controls sanctions list.
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