Warren introduces bill to restrict crypto transactions with Russia

Key points to remember

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill called the Digital Assets Sanctions Compliance Enhancement Act.
  • The bill would identify crypto exchanges supporting sanctioned Russian individuals and restrict their activities.
  • The bill appears to have been introduced in response to the reluctance of crypto exchanges to impose additional restrictions beyond those required by law.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a bill that could restrict the ability of crypto firms and investors to transact with Russia.

Bill Would Restrict Crypto Exchanges

A bill introduced at a Senate hearing on Thursday could restrict the ability of various entities to transact digital assets with Russia.

The text of the bill, titled the Digital Assets Sanctions Compliance Enhancement Act, would require the Biden administration to identify “any foreign person” who operates a crypto exchange or facilitates crypto transactions and supports sanctioned Russian individuals.

The bill also requires exchanges in the United States not to transact with crypto addresses “affiliated with persons headquartered or domiciled in the Russian Federation” as deemed necessary by the government.

Another section suggests that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will require transaction reports from people in the United States who transact more than $10,000 worth of cryptocurrency through accounts outside the country.

It is unclear to what extent the bill may apply. Exchanges can request to opt out of reports that would otherwise impose restrictions on them, according to the text of the bill.

Bill won support from Democrats

At TwitterWarren argued that the United States “cannot allow Putin [and] his buddies to hide their wealth [and] escape economic sanctions using cryptocurrency. She added that the bill would “close this potential route of escape [and] ensure that Russia is held accountable.

Besides Elizabeth Warren, several other Democratic senators support the bill, including Jack Reed (D-RI), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

The newly introduced bill follows a series of recent sanctions issued against Russia by the United States starting February 22. Outside the United States, the G7 and the EU imposed sanctions on Russia on March 11.

Despite an appetite for greater action against Russia, crypto exchanges generally seem hesitant to impose restrictions on Russians unless sanctions specifically require them to do so. Kraken, for example, declined to take further action, while Binance said standard KYC/AML identification rules were sufficient measures.

Warren acknowledged that sentiment during the Senate hearing. She noted that “the crypto industry claims that Russians can’t use crypto to hide their wealth,” but argued that her bill was needed to grant additional sanctioning and enforcement authority. application.

Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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