The crypto industry is lobbying US lawmakers against two bills aimed at blocking Russian oligarchs from using cryptocurrencies to avoid sanctions. The US and many other countries imposed sanctions on them after Russia began invading Ukraine.
Bills Banning Wealthy Russians From Using Crypto to Avoid Sanctions
The Blockchain Association has used US lawmakers against two bills designed to prevent Russian oligarchs from using cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions imposed on them after Russia began invading Ukraine, CNBC reported last week.
The first is a bill from the House of Representatives entitled the Russian Digital Asset Sanctions Compliance Act of 2022. The other is a Senate bill sponsored by cryptoskeptic Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) titled the Digital Asset Sanctions Compliance Enhancement Act of 2022.
The bills give the Biden administration the power to ban US crypto exchanges from processing payments from Russia. They would also allow US authorities to sanction foreign exchange transactions by sanctioned Russian individuals or companies.
The organization represents 70+ crypto platforms including 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, Solana, Terra, Voyager and Wicklow Capital.
The group is trying to persuade lawmakers not to use the cryptocurrency by wealthy Russians to avoid sanctions.
Curtis Kincaid, a spokesperson for the Blockchain Association, explained that the organization is trying to persuade lawmakers to “separate fact from fiction about Russia’s inability to move large sums of money via crypto transactions in order to evade sanctions,” it said in the publication.
Attorney Jake Chervinsky, political leader of the association, commented:
These bills do not target Russian oligarchs who do not (and cannot) use crypto to circumvent sanctions. They are targeting upstanding US crypto companies for no apparent reason other than Senator Elizabeth Warren’s crusade against a technology she doesn’t understand.
While some lawmakers are concerned about using crypto to evade sanctions, many experts have said that crypto is not an effective tool for evading sanctions. A U.S. Treasury Department official said in March, “We do not see that crypto could be used on a large scale to evade sanctions.”
What do you think of the legislation aimed at blocking Russian oligarchs from using crypto to evade sanctions? Let us know in the comment section below.
photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons