Now, crypto exchanges must report and freeze accounts suspected to be evading Russian sanctions. This could lead to criminal charges. The United Kingdom Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, (OFSI), of Her Majesty’s Treasury has ruled that cryptocurrency exchanges must report any suspected cryptos that could be used to evade Russian sanctions.
The OFSI announced in an August announcement that exchanges should report suspected breaches to the agency. They can also freeze assets or face criminal or financial charges.
According to the sanctions agency, “any other payment instrument” or assets “used for obtaining funds, goods, or services,” would be considered a sanction violation if they were used with such intent.
Crypto firms must help with safeguarding russian sanctions
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), also stated in March, that crypto-exchanges and financial firms “are expected to contribute to ensuring that sanctions have been enforced,” while providing strict guidelines for how to ensure that sanctions against Russia are upheld.
The first round sanctions against Russia were announced February 24, after Russia invaded Ukraine.
According to the latest financial sanctions notice, the OFSI stated that entities involved in destabilizing or undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty and supporting the Russian government would be subject to “freezing funds and economic resources.
The industry was divided on how to respond to Mykhailo Fedorov’s request for crypto exchanges to ban Russians when he was the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister.
Crypto exchanges react to russian sanctions
In March, Binance informed Reuters it would not prohibit Russian citizens accessing the exchange, but only those who are targeted by sanctions.
Brian Armstrong , CEO of Coinbase, tweeted that although ordinary Russians use crypto as a lifeline, if the United States calls to ban it, “we will, naturally, follow those laws.
Jesse Powell, Kraken’s CEO, tweeted that Russian accounts can not be frozen “without a lawful requirement to do so.