Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has recently issued a statement saying that cryptocurrency exchanges in America and around the world should enforce the country’s sanctions against Russia and cut off business stemming from that neck of the woods. To make sure this happens, she is now drafting a bill that she believes will make it much more difficult for countries or individuals to use crypto in the future to evade sanctions.
Elizabeth Warren Is Clearly Worried About Crypto
While the bill has not been finalized or ratified yet, the document takes aim at members of Moscow’s elite and their alleged abilities to use crypto to get around specific regulations set forth by the United States and its allies. Companies – per the bill’s verbiage – would have to choose between doing business with the U.S. and Russia. They can’t choose both, and foreign crypto exchanges that don’t obey U.S. laws will be punished with secondary sanctions.
In a letter last week, Warren and three of her congressional constituents wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking her about the department’s compliance regarding the enforcement of sanctions on Russia in the crypto space. The letter said:
Strong enforcement of sanctions compliance in the cryptocurrency industry is critical given that digital assets, which allow entities to bypass the traditional financial system, may increasingly be used as a tool for sanctions evasion.
Joe Biden and his cronies have already imposed many sanctions against both Russia and Belarus for their involvement in a recent invasion of the eastern European nation of Ukraine. While these sanctions are in place, they have not done enough to deter the invasion, nor have they prevented further battles and bloodshed. The bill drafted by Warren is considered a tool that could potentially put pressure on enterprises out there who are slow to comply, thereby allegedly enforcing the sanctions even further.
Lindsay Graham – a Republican senator from the state of South Carolina – recently commented that he also fears crypto can be used in an illicit way in Russia. He commented:
Cryptocurrency is rearing its ugly head, here. As you sanction the [Russian] central bank, which is a good thing, I worry about how the cryptocurrency could be used by the Russians to stay afloat.
The Sanctions Should Work… Eventually
An official from the Treasury Department says that the present sanctions that have been put into effect are likely to take effect in the coming future. This person stated:
It will be extremely challenging to evade our sanctions without detection. While there are some deficient exchanges that may be willing to offer services to sanctioned persons and entities, they will not be able to support a large economy. The Treasury has been significantly increasing its ability to track virtual currency transactions via partnerships across the [federal government] and with the private sector.