The UK’s central bank has called on crypto firms to ensure sanctions are enforced amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a joint statement on Friday reiterating that financial services firms, including the crypto asset sector, are “expected to play their part” in enforcing sanctions. The financial regulators said they are collaborating with international partners amid concerns digital assets provide people with a means of bypassing punitive economic measures.
“We are working closely with partners in government and law enforcement both here and abroad, including regulatory authorities, to share intelligence and act to prevent sanctions evasion, including through cryptoassets. We also remain ready to act in the event of sanctions breaches,” the Bank of England said in a statement.
The Financial Conduct Authority has written to regulated crypto firms in the UK reminding them of their responsibilities when it comes to ensuring sanctions are applied.
Crypto firms have come under the spotlight amid the conflict between Russia and Ukriane. While crypto has proved an important source of fundraising for the Ukranian government, which has received over $60m in digital asset donations, governments are concerned about its use to bypass punitive economic measures against Russia.
The Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine called on crypto exchanges to block all Russian and Belarusian accounts shortly after the invasion occurred. The call for a blanket ban on Russian users has been resisted by the world’s largest crypto exchanges including Binance, Coinbase and Kraken.