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Joe Biden to pass regulations this week to block Russia using cryptocurrency

To prevent Russia from using cryptocurrency to evade sanctions, Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order

In a first step towards regulating the way that digital currency is traded, US President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order later this week regarding cryptocurrency.

This measure was believed to have already been in the pipeline prior to the invasion of Ukraine, but is allegedly being speeded up in the belief that Russia will try to use it to evade sanctions.

Western allies and the Biden administration have recently imposed a series of sanctions on Russia and its wealthy elite, but officials have raised concern that cryptocurrency could be used by individuals and organisations in Russia to get around these sanctions.

According to sources of Associated Press, this executive order will be signed later this week, revealed two people familiar with the process. A request for the State Department to ensure that American cryptocurrency laws are aligned with those of US allies is expected to form part of the order.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council is responsible for monitoring the stability of the US financial system, and a request is also expected to be included in the order for them to study possible illicit finance concerns.

Back in January, the Federal Reserve issued a paper exploring the possibility of creating a new central bank digital currency. It outlined the risks and benefits of a US-backed digital currency, and this is also expected to be included in Joe Biden’s order.

“We will continue to look at how the sanctions work, and evaluate whether or not there are liquid leakages, and we have the possibility to address them. I often hear cryptocurrency mentioned and that is a channel to be watched”, commented Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week when addressing the concerns.

In reference to the conflict in Ukraine, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network last Monday 7, advised “all financial institutions to be vigilant against potential efforts to evade the expansive sanctions and other U.S.-imposed restrictions”.

In a statement, Him Das, the acting director, said, “Although we have not seen widespread evasion of our sanctions using methods such as cryptocurrency, prompt reporting of suspicious activity contributes to our national security, and our efforts to support Ukraine and its people”, as reported by metro.co.uk.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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