Biden to sign executive order on crypto amid sanction evasion fears
US President Joe Biden is poised to sign an executive order on crypto this week amid fears digital assets are being used to evade sanctions.
The order will create a 180-day deadline for federal agencies to produce a series of reports on “the future of money,” outlining the role that crypto will play in the nation’s payments landscape. A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that a legal and economic framework for a digital currency backed by the US central bank (CBDC) will also be set out.
Crypto policy is coming under increased scrutiny worldwide amid the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, with lawmakers fearful that digital assets allow individuals to circumvent sanctions.
Yesterday, a US Treasury department called on firms to identify and report suspicious activity associated with potential sanctions evasion and conduct appropriate, risk-based customer due diligence.
“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,” said Him Das, acting director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Last week the UK reintroduced the Economic Crime Bill to parliament with updated scope to clamp down on the use of crypto for illicit activity. Under the proposed legislation the UK state will gain new powers to seize crypto assets and bring them within scope of civil forfeiture powers to tackle the growing threat from ransomware and the use of digital assets for money laundering.
Ukraine’s vice prime minister has issued a plea for crypto currency exchanges to block Russian and Belarusian users. The world’s largest exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase and Kraken, are enforcing sanctions against individuals, but resisted calls for a blanket ban on users of any particular nationality.
Read more: Binance defies calls to block Russian users from crypto exchange