The US Treasury is aware of the possibility that crypto could be used as a tool to evade sanctions and as such, is carefully monitoring Russians to make sure that it doesn’t occur. Janet Yellen, the United States Treasury Secretary told the House Financial Services Committee that the department has not seen any significant use of cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions placed on Russian oligarchs and government agencies.
She highlighted that the department has a good deal of authority in this area and is using it. Yellen assured the committee that it is hard to use crypto to evade sanctions. The secretary pointed out that blockchains are being regularly examined. If large transactions are carried out, they will come to know of it. Moreover, Yellen said crypto exchanges fall under the scrutiny of the Anti-Money Laundering/Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). So far, the Treasury hasn’t seen any significant evasion through crypto.
On Tuesday, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced that it will impose sanctions on Garantex and on. The Moscow-based digital currency exchange has disregarded AML/CFT regulations. Sanctions will also be placed on Hydra, a Russian-language darknet marketplace, for accommodating ransomware attacks.
In regards to digital identity, Yellen told the Committee that the Treasury has very wide-ranging equities in the digital identity space. It administers public benefits and tax refunds. The department is fleshing out actions to take this agenda forward.