US Treasury Adds Crypto Rules to Russia Sanctions

Russia, cryptocurrency, regulations

The U.S. government has said crypto exchanges shouldn’t facilitate transactions for individuals or entities that have been recently added to a sanctions list, including some Russian oligarchs or entities, a Coindesk report said.

It is part of a campaign to punish Russia for its recent invasion of Ukraine, and the new rules will take effect Tuesday (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or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in … deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent any United States sanctions, including through the use of digital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.

This comes as the U.S. and several European nations have been laying down sanctions. The sanctions include freezing international assets held by the Russian central bank.

The coalition of nations has also disconnected some Russian banks from SWIFT, the interbank messaging network that underpins a lot of finance around the globe.

Some officials in the U.S. also say that crypto exchanges worldwide could do more to prevent Russian entities from evading sanctions using cryptocurrencies. Treasury Department officials have asked Binance, FTX and Coinbase to block certain sanctioned people and addresses.

Read more: Russian Cryptocurrencies Could Be Part of Future Sanctions

The next economic sanctions might involve a disruption of the crypto sector there, according to reports.

An official with the Biden administration said any sanctions on that industry would have to be developed in a way so as not to damage the global market, which could be tough.

Crypto has become more popular around the world, and the currencies are now a bigger segment of Russia’s financial system than they are in other economies, due to the suspicions of the banks there.