With the war between Russia and Ukraine, the power that bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies can have in the financial system has become evident, to the point that the United States and the European Union (EU) desperately seek to regulate the assets. so that Moscow does not benefit from them. Their goal is to block your access to industry-related platforms.
From various US and European sectors the idea of regulating cryptocurrencies gains more strength. Yesterday, the president of the Federal Reserve (Fed), Jerome Powell, addressed the issue of Ukraine and Russia in the United States Congress.
Powell said there is a need for “a framework in particular, with ways to prevent these unbacked cryptocurrencies from serving as a vehicle for terrorist financing and general criminal behavior — tax evasion and the like.”
Separately, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Mark Warner, Jack Reed, and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. In the letter they asked for explanations on the actions the Treasury Department is taking regarding cryptocurrencies in the context of sanctions policy, especially against Russia.
The senators expressed that they are “concerned that criminals, rogue states, and other actors may use digital assets and alternative payment platforms as a new means of concealing cross-border transactions for nefarious purposes.”
They have said that their restlessness continues to grow given the current scenario with Russia. “Russian entities are preparing to mitigate some of the worst effects” of the sanctions that have been placed on the country by using the variety of “cryptocurrency-related tools at their disposal.”
New US measures against Russia and its access to cryptocurrencies
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also released a document called Russia’s Harmful Foreign Activity Sanctions Regulations, which came into force yesterday, March 2.
This will allow the United States to take action against transactions, including made with cryptocurrencies by banned Russian entities.
The rule encompasses all “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 president of the United States himself promoted a measure to prevent exchanges from helping Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be an escape valve for sanctioned Russian individuals and organizations, as reported by CriptoNoticias.
From Europe they also plan to prevent Russia from using bitcoin to block bitcoin to Russia
Along the same lines as the United States, the European Union (EU) is also discussing measures that block the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia. This, at a time when the economy of the Eurasian country receives great blows, to the point that the European subsidiary of Sberbank, the main Russian bank, would be in “bankruptcy or probable bankruptcy”, according to statements by the European Central Bank (ECB).
French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire said that the EU wants to prevent Russia from circumventing the sanctions imposed by using cryptocurrencies.
“We are taking measures, in particular on cryptocurrencies or crypto assets, which should not be used to circumvent the financial sanctions decided by the 27 EU countries,” the French official commented.
He added that the sanctions have had an effect on Russia, hitting the financial structure of that country and leaving its central bank with no opportunity to protect the ruble, the Russian national currency.
According to an investigation by CriptoNoticias, it was possible to determine that the ruble has fallen 24% against the US dollar in a week. Taking into account that bitcoin has rallied in the last seven days, the total currency of rubles now has a dollar value lower than the market capitalization of bitcoin.
For his part, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the G7 is also considering taking further action to “prevent listed individuals and institutions from switching to unregulated crypto assets. We are working to achieve this in the context of the German presidency of the G7”, according to the Reuters agency.
The sanctions that may arise with the passing of days from Europe and the United States, are born after, on February 28, Ukraine requested support to round up cryptocurrency users located in Russia. In addition, he called for all Russians to be blocked from cryptocurrency exchanges, Visa, MasterCard payment systems, and even metaverses.