The crypto sector is pressing politicians in the United States to oppose two proposals that would restrict Russian oligarchs from adopting cryptocurrency to dodge sanctions. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US and several other countries imposed sanctions on them.
Bills Prohibit Wealthy Russians from using Cryptocurrency to Circumvent Restrictions
The Blockchain Association has been pressing US politicians to oppose two legislation aimed at preventing Russian oligarchs from adopting cryptocurrencies to avoid sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The first is the “Russian Digital Asset Sanctions Compliance Act of 2022,” a House bill. The other is the “Digital Asset Sanctions Compliance Enhancement Act of 2022,” a Senate measure supported by crypto skeptic Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).
The bills give the Biden administration the power to prohibit cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States from processing payments from Russia. They would also allow US authorities to impose sanctions on overseas exchanges that facilitate transactions involving sanctioned Russian individuals or businesses.
AAVE, Anchorage Digital, Ava Labs, Bitdeer, Blockchain Capital, Blockfi, Brevan Howard, Chainalysis, Circle, Crypto.com, Digital Currency Group, Dragonfly Capital, Etoro, Grayscale, Kraken, Ripple, Silvergate, Terra, Voyager, and Wicklow Capital are among the more than 70 crypto platforms represented by the organization.
The group is attempting to persuade lawmakers that wealthy Russians are not using cryptocurrency to circumvent restrictions.
According to the journal, Curtis Kincaid, a spokesperson for the Blockchain Association, the organization is attempting to persuade lawmakers to “separate fact from fiction regarding Russia’s incapacity to transfer substantial sums of money via crypto transactions in order to escape sanctions.”
The association’s policy leader, lawyer Jake Chervinsky, said:
These bills aren’t aimed at Russian oligarchs, who don’t (and can’t) utilize crypto to avoid sanctions. They go after law-abiding US crypto firms for no obvious reason other than Senator Elizabeth Warren’s crusade against a technology she doesn’t understand.
While some lawmakers are concerned about the use of cryptocurrency to avoid restrictions, many experts believe that cryptocurrency is not an efficient instrument for evading penalties. “We don’t see crypto being utilized in a large-scale fashion to avoid restrictions,” a US Treasury official said in March.
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