Treasury Department Issues Guidance on Using Crypto to Evade Sanctions

The U.S. Treasury Department issued guidance on Friday spelling out how cryptocurrency should not be used to circumvent economic sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

In a FAQ on whether Russia-related sanctions extend to virtual currency, the Department wrote that “U.S. persons, including virtual currency exchanges, virtual wallet hosts, and other service providers, such as those that provide nested services for foreign exchangesare generally prohibited from engaging in or facilitating prohibited transactions, including virtual currency transactions in which blocked persons have an interest.”

The FAQ said that U.S. persons are also barred from engaging in or facilitating prohibited transactions by a non-U.S. person, “including virtual currency transactions involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, 

National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.”

U.S. financial institutions are also generally prohibited from processing transactions, including virtual currency transactions, involving targeted financial institutions.

The White House and G7 group of nations said earlier on Friday that such guidance on crypto transactions with respect to sanctions would be forthcoming.

The new guidance comes shortly after after U.S. Sen. 

Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced she was drafting a bill to prevent Russian oligarchs or President Vladimir Putin from using crypto to evade sanctions.

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