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Global regulators monitor crypto use in Ukraine war

LONDON (CNA) – The global Financial Stability Board (FSB) is closely scrutinising the use of cryptoassets during the war in Ukraine after concerns they could be used to evade Western sanctions on Russia.

The crypto sector is on the defensive amid warnings from the United States (US) and European lawmakers that digital asset companies are not up to the task of complying with Western financial sanctions imposed on Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Some crypto exchanges have rejected calls to cut off all Russian users, raising concerns that crypto could be used as a way to circumvent sanctions.

Ukraine also raised millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies after posting appeals on social media for donations in bitcoin and other digital tokens.

“We at the FSB are monitoring the situation, the conflict situation relative to cryptos,” a member of the FSB’s secretariat Patrick Armstrong, told a City and Financial conference.

The FSB, which groups financial regulators, central banks and finance ministry officials from the Group of 20 economies, is sharing the information it obtains among its members, Armstrong said.

Britain’s Financial Services Minister John Glen told the same conference that steps already taken by the United Kingdom (UK) to bring cryptoassets under anti-money laundering and terrorist financing curbs will support law enforcement in cryptoassets.