The FBI director believes Russia overestimated its ability to avoid sanctions by using crypto as we can see more in today’s latest crypto news.
Christopher Wray cited the FBI recent work in seizing huge amounts of crypto as evidence as there were vulnerabilities in using digital assets to avoid sanctions. The FBI Director Christopher Wray said that fiat is a more likely avenue for Russia to explore in avoiding sanctions given the US’s ability to block these efforts.
During a Thursday hearing of the Senate Select Committee of Intelligence, the New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich asked the FBI director if Russia will respond to the economic impact of the US by banning imports of the country’s oil and gas and using the reserves of gold and China’s cryptocurrency and UnionPay system. Wray said that FBI and its partners built up a lot of expertise on digital assets and cited the department’s work in seizing huge amounts of tokens as evidence that there are vulnerabilities in using crypto to avoid sanctions:
“The Russians’ ability to circumvent the sanctions with cryptocurrency is probably highly overestimated on the part of maybe them and others. We are, as a community and with our partners overseas, far more effective on that than I think that sometimes they appreciate and there’s a lot of expertise in terms of tools and strategies to help block that kind of effort. Ultimately, what they really need to do is get access to some form of fiat currency, which becomes more challenging.”
The Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines added that the Russian president Vladimir Putin anticipated sanctions from the actions against Ukraine and built up a reserve fund to ease up the economic impact. She said that the US Treasury Department and other foreign governments acting to Sanction Russia made it hard to access these funds. After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the US and other EU governments announced sanctions that can financially damage the Russian federation. Most agencies and departments said they will be looking at a possibility of Russia using crypto to bypass sanctions which is why Biden signed an executive order aimed at creating a framework for crypto that mentioned the risks of avoiding the sanctions.