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U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren Floats Fresh Bill to Stifle Russia’s Crypto Lifeline

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U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren Floats Fresh Bill to Stifle Russia’s Crypto Lifeline

United States senator and 2020 presidential aspirant Elizabeth Warren  (D- Massachusetts), has introduced a bill to the United States Senate that will bar crypto firms from conducting business with sanctioned entities amid the raging war in Ukraine, according to an NBC report on March 17, 2022.

No Crypto Escape Route for Sanctioned Entities 

The bill, which is named the Digital Assets Sanctions Compliance Act was introduced alongside fellow Democrats Mark Warner (D-Va), John Tester (D-Mont), Jack Reed (D- R.I.), and others.

The bill is aimed at empowering the president of the United States to add foreign-based crypto companies to the sanctions list if they attempt to help blacklisted entities circumvent sanctions.

The bill comes amid serious concerns by U.S. authorities that Russian oligarchs might be able to evade sanctions through bitcoin and other crypto assets.

The proposal aims to make it an illegal act for crypto-related businesses in the nation to have any dealings with sanctioned nations or entities 

Elizabeth Warren while presenting the proposal stated:

“This is a bill that would legalize the President to sanction foreign cryptocurrency companies that are doing business with sanctioned Russian companies and authorize the Secretary of Treasury to act,”

According to the draft bill, the administration will be tasked with the responsibilities of identifying any foreign person or entity who operates a crypto exchange or otherwise facilitates any form of business with Russian oligarchs to help them to evade the sanctions.

Furthermore, bitcoin-linked enterprises found wanting could be made to face serious punishment by the authorities.

 The United States Treasury Department could also mandate crypto exchanges licensed in the United States to completely block the crypto wallet addresses of Russian residents from assessing their platform, if such transactions could be against the interest of the U.S. action will be of national interest. The Treasury Secretary must seek the consent of congress before enforcing such stringent laws.

In a bid to ensure the effectiveness of the ban on Russia, Warren recently sought the expert advice of Jonathan Levin of Chainalysis on the crypto maneuvers that can aid Russian oligarchs to evade the ban.

Levin responded by telling the senator that the availability of blockchain tracking tools will automatically make it extremely difficult for sanctioned individuals and companies to keep money in crypto without a trace.

Unending Sanctions 

Russia has been bombarded with a series of sanctions since its invasion of Ukraine last February, and experts believe the current uncertainties have led to increased volatility in the crypto markets.

Speaking to the U.S senate concerning the efficacy of a blanket ban on Russian crypto users,, Michael Chobanian, founder of Ukraine’s largest Cryptocurrency exchange Kuna noted that it will be extremely difficult for Russian entities to use crypto to evade economic sanctions, adding that the persistent embargo might eventually lead to the fall of the Putin regime.

The latest bill by Warren comes exactly one week after president Joe Biden’s administration signed an executive order calling for a whole government approach to crypto regulation in the country.