US Treasury puts 13 Russian firms on radar for using crypto to evade sanctions

13 financial firms are accused of facilitating trading on the Russian market. They are therefore under scrutiny by the US Treasury Department.

The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on these 13 business entities and 2 individuals. According to a press release from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the majority of the listed firms facilitated the movement of assets or helped OFAC-designated individuals evade sanctions.

The agency announced that five firms are wholly owned and their activities are controlled by OFAC-designated entities. Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, says Russia has turned to other financial sources to evade US sanctions: “As the Kremlin seeks to leverage entities in the financial technology space, Treasury will continue to expose and block companies that seek to help sanctioned Russian financial institutions reconnect to the global financial system.”

They succeeded in circumventing sanctions
Among the listed organizations are Joint Stock Company B Crypto, Masterchain, Laitkhaus, Atomaiz, Token Trust Holdings, TOEP.

“All of the identified companies have helped create or operate blockchain-based services for the Russian financial sector or enabled virtual currency payments, thereby enabling potential sanctions circumvention,” the statement reads.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US has imposed sanctions on certain companies operating in its market and continues to expand sanctions to companies that facilitate the transfer of funds through digital assets. Last year, Binance, the world’s largest exchange by volume, was caught in a regulatory conundrum that led to its withdrawal from the Russian market. The company’s Russian presence was taken over by CommEx, which announced that its website would be shut down by May 10.

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