Sanction Accounts Must Be Reported, UK Tells Crypto Exchanges:
The United Kingdom’s Office of Financial Sanction Implementation (OFSI) has updated the it’s sanction rule to include “cryptoassets” in a list of assets that must be frozen if they belong to a person or company facing sanctions.
This is due to the rise in sanctioned Russian entities.
Sequel to the new rules, crypto exchanges will face criminal charges if they “fail to report clients designated for sanctions.”
As the exchanges must identify and report sanctioned customers and their transactions immediately to UK authorities, according to theGuardian.
The official rule on financial sanctions was updated on August 30 to embed digital assets amid growing concern that Russia might be using bitcoin and other digital assets to “dodge” financial restrictions imposed on them.
A UK Treasury Department spokesperson disclosed;
“It is vital to address the risk of cryptoassets being used to breach or circumvent financial sanctions.
These new requirements will cover firms that either record holdings of, or enable the transfer of cryptoassets and are therefore most likely to hold relevant information.”
Recall that In April, Binance stopped deposits and trading facilities for Russians having crypto assets in excess of EUR 10,000.
These accounts were fixed under “withdrawal-only” mode.
The Peak Crypto exchange restricted the accounts of some prominent Russian individuals, including Elizaveta Peskova, daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov and Polina Kovaleva, stepdaughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, according to cryptopotato.
Some of the prominent sanction targets include Vladimir Potanin, Gutseriev, and Oleg Deripaska.
Potanin was previously Russia’s second richest man who invested in Swiss blockchain company, Atomyze.
Son of an oligarch, Gutseriev previously acquired a stake in a Belarus-based crypto exchange.
Deripaska is a metal billionaire and had advocated BTC to be used as a means of payment.
The US Treasury also banned crypto mixer platform, Blender.io in May and Tornado Cash in August.
This was not directly linked to sanctions against Russia, but it significantly reduces the possibility of sanctioned entities to transfer crypto assets Without getting caught.
Meanwhile, Alexy Pertsev, whose company PepperSec had created Tornado Cash, was recently found to have worked with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and was arrested by Dutch authorities two days after Tornado Cash was banned.