March 04, 2022

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

Featuring Yaya J. Fanusie

Source: CNBC

Journalist MacKenzie Sigalos

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.

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“The size and scale of crypto markets — and their state of liquidity — is not sufficient enough to offset what happens from banking disruptions and other disruptions from sanctions,” said Yaya Fanusie, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security who assesses national security and money laundering risks related to digital assets.

“It’s akin to, if someone were to block your paycheck for a month and then you had to rely on your piggy bank to make up for it,” he said.

Read the full story and more from CNBC.

Authors

  • Yaya J. Fanusie

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Yaya J. Fanusie is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). His research focuses on the national security implications of cryptocurrencies an...