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IPFS News Link • Bitcoin

Bitcoin sanctions could be next, but most Russians won't care

• by MacKenzie Sigalos

The concern is that the Kremlin, as well as other ancillary actors supporting the offensive on Ukraine, will evade the sanctions regime via digital tokens, which are not owned or issued by a central authority like a bank.

Bitcoin, among other altcoins, is decentralized and borderless, which means that it doesn't respect national boundaries. Because there is no central authority to block transactions, digital currencies are also considered to be censorship resistant.

As Moscow's war on Ukraine rages on and the Russian economy and currency spiral to new lows, Washington is reportedly trying out a new way to dial up the pressure on Putin: sanctions targeting cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.

The Department of Justice announced early Wednesday a new task force broadly designed to enforce sanctions. As part of that, it will target efforts to use cryptocurrency to evade U.S. sanctions, launder proceeds of foreign corruption or evade U.S. responses to Russian military aggression.

Taking aim at Russia's access to digital cash comes as the U.S. and its allies, including notoriously neutral Switzerland, levy heavy punitive measures against Moscow.