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Are Russia’s elite really using cryptocurrency to evade sanctions?




Type Of Work


  • Media article

Abstract


  • Fearing Russia’s elite will evade economic sanctions by converting their wealth to cryptocurrency, high-profile US Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren has introduced a bill into US Congress to stymie Russian crypto transactions. Warren warned a Senate committee hearing: So no one can argue that Russia can evade all sanctions by moving all its assets into crypto. But for Putin’s oligarchs who are trying to hide, you know, a billion or two of their wealth, crypto looks like a pretty good option. The bill does not seek to impose a blanket ban on all Russian cryptocurrency transactions. But it would give the US government the authority to ban US companies from processing cryptocurrency transactions connected to sanctioned Russian accounts, and to apply secondary sanctions to foreign cryptocurrency exchanges doing business with sanctioned Russian individuals, companies or government agencies. But is it even necessary? Even though the evidence shows that Russian cryptocurrency transactions have been increasing in both number and value in the past month, the scale suggests buyers are ordinary Russians seeking to hold on to their savings as the value of the ruble crashes.

Publication Date


  • 2022

Web Of Science Accession Number


Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Type Of Work


  • Media article

Abstract


  • Fearing Russia’s elite will evade economic sanctions by converting their wealth to cryptocurrency, high-profile US Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren has introduced a bill into US Congress to stymie Russian crypto transactions. Warren warned a Senate committee hearing: So no one can argue that Russia can evade all sanctions by moving all its assets into crypto. But for Putin’s oligarchs who are trying to hide, you know, a billion or two of their wealth, crypto looks like a pretty good option. The bill does not seek to impose a blanket ban on all Russian cryptocurrency transactions. But it would give the US government the authority to ban US companies from processing cryptocurrency transactions connected to sanctioned Russian accounts, and to apply secondary sanctions to foreign cryptocurrency exchanges doing business with sanctioned Russian individuals, companies or government agencies. But is it even necessary? Even though the evidence shows that Russian cryptocurrency transactions have been increasing in both number and value in the past month, the scale suggests buyers are ordinary Russians seeking to hold on to their savings as the value of the ruble crashes.

Publication Date


  • 2022

Web Of Science Accession Number


Place Of Publication


  • Australia