Concerns have been expressed by US Senate Democrats that cryptocurrencies may be used to sidestep economic sanctions imposed on Russia, reports Protocol.com.
It writes that Senate Democrats want to know what steps the US Treasury Department is taking to prevent such actions.
“Given the need to ensure the efficacy and integrity of our sanctions program against Russia and other adversaries, we are seeking information on the steps Treasury is taking to enforce sanctions compliance by the cryptocurrency industry,” Senators Elizabeth Warren, Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown and Jack Reed wrote in a letter to the Secretary of Treasury.
The inquiry pointed to an October 2021 report by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control that argued the “growing prevalence of virtual currency as a payment method […] brings greater exposure to sanctions risks.”
The letter also cited North Korea, writes Protocol.com, as an example of a country where cryptocurrencies are used for nefarious purposes, after a recent United Nations report found that about $400 million worth of stolen crypto was used to fund missile programmes despite sanctions.