UK requires crypto exchanges to report sanction breaches

The UK Treasury Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation has requested all crypto companies to report suspected sanctions breaches.

This is due to concerns that cryptocurrency is being used to dodge sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The official guidance was introduced on August 30 and explicitly names “cryptoassets” as one of the asset-classes that needs to be watched out for and kept a close eye on.

To make sure that the onus is on companies, and they are doing their best, the Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation will now treat any failure to report suspected sanctions avoidance as a criminal offense.

But this is no different to the way that estate agents, lawyers, jewelers, and accounts are treated, and is perhaps a long-overdue requirement to help safeguard against fraudulent operations.

Numerous oligarchs from Russia who are said to be close to the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin have come under rapid fire from Western-led sanctions.

Yet, many have continued to find loopholes. There is little evidence to suggest that these loopholes have been mostly facilitated by cryptocurrencies.

In most of the cases, people on the sanction’s lists have used shell companies (as many as 30 at a time) to obfuscate ownership or have simply installed secret puppets to manage their money for them.

Bitcoin and other cryptoassets have played a very small part in the overall sanction-dodging and they have been mostly used by consumers in Russia who have been denied access to international currency or/and markets.

Meanwhile, Binance confirmed that it had blocked the accounts of Russian politicians, including that of Polina Kovaleva, the daughter of Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister.

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Written by Alex

Reporter

Alex is a well-rounded crypto writer who focuses on general market and legal developments. His main interest lies in how crypto gaming can become a more permanent part of the gaming landscape and how blockchain holds benefits to players they are not even aware of.

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