The US President Joe Biden passed an executive order early on Wednesday expanding sanctions on Russia in response to its cyberattacks and crypto use while declaring a national emergency. There have been recent reports that prove the US defense industry heavily associates foreign usage of cryptocurrencies with sanctions evasion.
Biden Orders Sanctions on Russian Involvement in Cyber Attacks
Biden orders the US Treasury to bar transactions by anyone in the territory of the United States of America, who is deemed by the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) to having been involved in an array of ‘criminal’ activities, such as working with the Russian technology sector or engaging in “actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad.”
Moreover, the order targets anyone facilitating “deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent any United States sanctions, including through the use of digital currencies or assets or the use of physical assets.”
This isn’t the first time OFAC has sanctioned any government entity in Russia, in fact, it has targetted the Internet Research Agency and Project Lakhta that provides services like e-wallets for crypto in the past. The list doesn’t end here, it also includes a ban on crypto addresses in connection with their alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
OFAC’s Response to Russian Cyber Attacks Using Crypto
The OFAC consequently acknowledged the order by banning institutions in the US from any or all transactions that involve Russian bonds or the Russian Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, or National Wealth Fund. Additionally, the executive order this time has also included in its sanctions list, 28 other cryptocurrency addresses namely BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, DASH, ZEC, and XVG.
Obviously, this order is viewed under the lens of the latest political tensions that evolved with America’s backing the ‘Ukrainian Territorial Sovereignty’. Which the Russians have been violating, over a period of time, by beefing up their military and arsenal on the Ukrainian borders and breakaway regions.
Earlier this week, Presidents Biden and Putin shared a phone call and the official readout of the conversation included the White House vehemently supporting Ukraine, something which was prominently missing in its counterpart Kremlin’s official statement.