IIF Authors

Status: Will be live at 03/08/2022 09:00

FRT Episode 116: Can Cryptocurrency be Used to Evade Sanctions?


In this episode of FRT, Caroline Malcolm, Head of International Public Policy and Research for blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, answers questions regarding cryptocurrency’s potential for use in sanctions evasion and humanitarian relief. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, prompted rapid and unprecedented actions from the international community, including crippling sanctions against Russian entities and individuals and removal of banks from SWIFT to limit Russia’s access to other markets. Some have suggested that cryptocurrency can be used to evade these sanctions, in part because cryptocurrency transactions do not require use of SWIFT’s messaging system. At the same time, the White House National Security Council has stated the scale at which Russia would need to circumvent the financial sanctions in place “would almost certainly render cryptocurrency as an ineffective primary tool for the State.” Simultaneously, many have suggested that cryptocurrency can facilitate the flow of very necessary relief funds to both Ukrainian and Russian citizens and refugees who are currently suffering due to ongoing violence and economic collapse. Caroline answers these questions and more, providing in-depth explanations of how blockchain analytics tools trace transactions and expose trends in user behavior.