Japan’s Financial Services Agency and the Japan Virtual and Crypto Assets Exchange Association are assessing ways to block crypto transactions on Japan’s sanctions list, according to the Japan Times

The news comes after an unnamed official spoke to the local news outlet in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sparked widespread and sweeping sanctions against the Russian state and Russian interests. 

Japan’s Finance Minister, Shunichi Suzuki, also addressed this issue during an address in Parliament earlier today. 

“We are closely watching the situation of settlements such as crypto assets and SPFS in order to secure effectiveness of sanctions against Russia,” Suzuki reportedly said, referring to Russia’s “System for Transfer of Financial Messages,” a state-equivalent to the international SWIFT system. 

Japan joins global action

Japan is not alone when it comes to concern that Russia might evade sanctions using crypto. 

Earlier this week, France’s Finance Minister, Bruno le Maire, said the European Union is “taking measures” to ensure Russia doesn’t evade sanctions using cryptocurrencies

Also this week, the U.S. Treasury announced new rules that built on an existing executive order in order to crack down on restrictions against cryptocurrency transactions. 

The new rules take aim at “deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent any United States sanctions, including through the use of digital currencies or assets or the use of physical assets.”

How can Russia use crypto to evade sanctions? 

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