Photo: Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst – Flickr: G7 in het Catshuis, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32986517
G7 countries will not allow Russia to use cryptocurrencies to avoid sanctions
March 11, 2022 The G7 issued a joint statement indicating that: “will ensure that the Russian state, elites, proxies and oligarchs cannot use digital assets as a way to avoid or offset the effects of international sanctions.”
According to the G7 member states, this will further cut Russia off from the global financial system. From time to time, there are claims that Russia or the Russians themselves may be using cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions. This topic has arisen in connection with the European Parliament’s plans to regulate cryptocurrencies.
And indeed – for example, the exchange Binance has not frozen the digital assets of Russians, but has also indicated that it will not allow the circumvention of sanctions. Many other cryptocurrency companies have taken a similar stance – such as Ripple.
In turn, Ukraine itself benefits heavily from cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based projects. The country has official wallets including Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT. What’s more – Vladimir Klitschko recently issued NFTs, and the funds from their sale are expected to go into the hands of Ukrainians in need of help.
In the world of cryptocurrencies, Vitalik Buterin, who is Russian and the creator of Ethereum, also expressed solidarity with Ukraine. In his opinion, the priority now should be to support Ukrainians, as well as people who oppose Putin’s regime. Nevertheless, the Ethereum creator insists that his cryptocurrency is completely neutral, although he himself is not.
British company discovers oligarchs’ wallets?
The company Elliptic, which deals with network security and blockchain forensics together with the authorities is trying to determine cryptocurrency wallets linked to sanctioned individuals or organizations.
Tom Robinson – Elliptic’s cofounder – in an interview with Bloomberg indicated that the company has discovered a “suspicious cryptocurrency wallet” valued at several million dollars. The digital assets may be linked to Russian oligarchs. Robinson also points out that cryptocurrencies can be used to circumvent sanctions, but he believes it’s unlikely that Russia would be using them that way right now.
Nevertheless, Elliptic has identified more than 400 cryptocurrency services through which anonymous users can trade digital assets using rubles. The company has also identified over 15 million blockchain addresses that are linked to criminal activity in Russia. Tom Robinson also points out that ruble-related activity on some of these 400 services had already increased the week before the outbreak.
What is the G7?
The G7 group includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. It includes some of the largest economies in the world. Interestingly, between 1997 and 2014, Russia was also a member of the G7. At that time, the organization operated under the name G8. However, after the annexation of Crimea, Russia’s membership was suspended.
The G7 discusses international politics. On the summits of the group the issues of migration crisis, terrorism, climate problems etc. were discussed