As bitcoin sees its value skyrocket, some financial experts and cyber analysts are beginning to worry that the digital cryptocurrency is prime to be exploited by countries like Russia looking to dodge US sanctions.
William Browder, a financier and cofounder of an investment fund that specializes in Russia, will say as much when he testifies on Thursday before the US Helsinki Commission, a government agency that monitors security and human rights policy in Europe.
“These cryptocurrencies are a gift from God to criminals and dictators who want to keep their money safe,” said Browder in a phone interview on Tuesday.
In his prepared statement, provided to BuzzFeed News, Browder calls for “the urgent attention of the U.S. and other Western governments in relation to Magnitsky sanctions as well as all other sanctions programs.” Sergei Magnitsky, for whom the sanctions are named, was working for Browder’s firm to investigate Russian corruption when he was arrested and imprisoned. He later died in prison, prompting the US to pass the Magnitsky Act, which sanctions individual Russian human rights abusers.
Read the full article here.