Cryptocurrency Cannot Be Used for Sanctions Evasion: Senior US Treasury Staff

Azeez Mustapha


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A senior staff of the US Department of the Treasury has asserted that the organization does not believe that cryptocurrency can be applied to large-scale sanctions evasion.

Nellie Liang, the Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, spoke to Reuters last Friday about the unrealistic claims of using crypto to evade sanctions on a national level.

The senior Treasury staff argued that the crypto market is not big enough to accommodate an entire economy and that the crypto ecosystem was too underdeveloped to use as an effective tool to facilitate sanctions evasion.

Liang explained: “The transaction size we’ve seen is fairly small. Of course, we recognize we may not see everything, but there is a fair amount of oversight,” elaborating:

“At this point, we just don’t see that it could be used in a large-scale way to evade sanctions.”

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Fiat is Used More in Illegalities than Crypto: Senior US Treasury Staff

The senior government official asserted that the Department has been studying this particular issue for years. Regardless, the Group of Seven (G7) countries and other nations have raised concerns over the growing use of crypto for financing illegalities. However, Liang explained that “while it’s growing because the use of crypto is growing, its share as a medium for illicit finance is not anywhere as large as just using cash.”

While many have confirmed that crypto is not an effective tool for evading sanctions on a national scale, some US legislators like Elizabeth Warren remain worried about this possibility.

Senator Warren introduced a bill on Thursday “to ensure that Vladimir Putin and Russian elites don’t use digital assets to undermine the international community’s economic sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.” However, a crypto and economics pundit has argued that the bill is “unnecessary, overbroad, and unconstitutional.”

In other news, Liang will lead the Treasury Department’s efforts to implement the recently-signed presidential crypto-focused executive order.


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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