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Why AML experts say blockchains won’t help Russia evade sanctions

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Why AML experts say blockchains won’t help Russia evade sanctions

by Aislinn Keely
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Quick Takes
  • The US and allies have levied heavy sanctions against Russia to cut it off from resources to prop up its economy and continue its assault on Ukraine.
  • US lawmakers have expressed concern that crypto will be used as a tool to evade sanctions.
  • Experts break down why the crypto industry isn’t yet big enough to act as a meaningful evasion tool.
As the US and other governments around the world levy heavy sanctions against Russia in an attempt to cut the nation off from money it needs to continue its assault on Ukraine, lawmakers and regulators alike have expressed their intent to make sure that the Russian government and other sanctioned individuals can’t use cryptocurrency to evade those sanctions.

But experts say that policymakers should rest assured that the crypto ecosystem can’t be much of a life raft — at least at its current scale.

Most crypto firms are compliant with sanctions laws and have expressed their intention to continue to follow related guidance from the Treasury Department. Meanwhile, scant evidence has emerged that crypto is actually being used for sanctions evasion.

Still, politicians are rallying around the issue. 

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