The U.S. Treasury Department revealed it could add cryptocurrency addresses to its list of sanctions if it’s able to link the cryptocurrency addresses with people who are blacklisted.
First spotted by The Wall Street Journal, in documents that were filed with a White House order that bans Venezuelan cryptocurrencies, the Treasury Department said it could add the addresses to the sanctions list to keep the public aware.
“[The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)] may add digital currency addresses to the SDN [specially designated nationals] List to alert the public of specific digital currency identifiers associated with a blocked person,” the government agency said in the guidance notice. “OFAC’s digital currency address listings are not likely to be exhaustive. Parties who identify digital currency identifiers or wallets that they believe are owned by, or otherwise associated with, an SDN and hold such property should take the necessary steps to block the relevant digital currency and file a report with OFAC that includes information about the wallet’s or address’ ownership and any other relevant details.”
According to the WSJ, these digital currency addresses are linked to online wallets and represent the place to transfer the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin wallets enable two parties to transfer coins without a middleman, which has made digital tokens appealing to criminals. The Treasury’s guidance comes as regulators around the globe are trying to determine how to regulate virtual currencies.
At a G20 meeting this week, Japan, an early adopter of cryptocurrency, asked its G20 counterparts to increase their efforts to stop digital tokens from being used as a tool to launder money. According to a report this week from CNBC, the likelihood that the finance leaders from G20 would come up with global rules for governing cryptocurrencies was slim, largely because each country has taken a different approach to regulating the market. The newswire noted that the Financial Action Task Force, a 37-nation group, planned to use the G20 meeting to share its findings on how to prevent cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money.