Uphold withdraws with Venezuela, citing US sanctions

Crypto trading platform Uphold said it will be withdrawing support for users in Venezuela due to sanctions imposed by the United States government. In a Thursday announcement, Uphold said “owing to the increasing complexity of complying with U.S. sanctions” the platform would “very reluctantly” be moving out of Venezuela. The platform advised users to withdraw their funds as soon as possible, noting it would halt trading for Venezuela-based clients on July 31, with all accounts “fully restricted” starting on Sept. 30. “As a U.S. financial institution, Uphold has to comply…

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Amid sanctions, Russia weighs crypto for international payments: Report

The Russian Federation is reportedly considering accepting cryptocurrencies for international payments in response to Western sanctions against the country that were prompted by its full-scale invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.  The Moscow-based Interfax news agency and Reuters reported Friday that Ivan Chebeskov, who heads the Financial Policy Division within Russia’s Finance Ministry, is actively considering the possibility of incorporating crypto payments. “The idea of using digital currencies in transactions for international settlements is being actively discussed,” he said. According to local newspaper Vedomosti, the Finance Ministry is considering adding…

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US federal judge approves of Justice Dept criminal complaint on using crypto to evade sanctions

The United States Department of Justice may move forward on a criminal prosecution case against a U.S. citizen who allegedly violated sanctions through cryptocurrency. According to a Friday opinion filing in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the unnamed individual who is the subject of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department allegedly sent more than $10 million in Bitcoin (BTC) from a U.S.-based crypto exchange to an exchange in a country for which the U.S. currently imposes sanctions — suggesting Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, or Iran.…

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Indie Russian news firm raises $250K in crypto after sanctions cripple finances

A Russian independent news company has raised more than US$250,000 in cryptocurrency donations from supporters in order to continue reporting independent news under a barrage of Russian government propaganda and censorship.  Meduza, a Latvian-based Russian-language news site that claims to report on “the real Russia, today” has been asking for donations since March in the form of USD, euros and cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance (BNB), Tether (USDT), Monero (XMR) and zcash (ZEC). Since publishing their donations plea, the news company has received around US$250,000 in crypto donations…

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For the crypto industry, supporting sanctions is an opportunity to rebrand

One of the first punitive measures leveled against Russia in response to the military invasion of Ukraine was the implementation of economic sanctions aimed at isolating the country from the international financial system. On March 12, Russian banks lost access to the international payments and messaging network SWIFT, and private sector payment companies, such as Visa, PayPal and Mastercard, were close behind. But while these highly regulated and publicly scrutinized organizations were quick to react to the crisis, concerns quickly mounted that the Russian state, as well as companies and…

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Two more charged with teaching North Koreans to evade US sanctions with crypto

Two European citizens have been charged by a United States district court in connection to a blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in North Korea which violated U.S. sanctions back in 2019.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the court documents allege that Alejandro Cao De Benos, a citizen of Spain, and Christopher Emms, a citizen of the United Kingdom conspired to violate U.S. sanctions on North Korea when they jointly planned and organized the 2019 Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference. The pair allegedly worked with former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith…

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US Treasury Dept sanctions 3 Ethereum addresses allegedly linked to North Korea

The United States Treasury Department has added three Ethereum wallet addresses to sanctions allegedly linked to the hacker group responsible for the theft of more than $600 million in crypto from nonfungible token game Axie Infinity’s Ronin sidechain. In a Friday update, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, listed three Ethereum addresses to its Specially Designated Nationals restrictions for North Korea’s Lazarus Group. U.S. authorities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, have targeted the group over its alleged role…

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Binance limits services in Russia due to the EU’s 5th package of sanctions

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, is adopting major restrictions on users in Russia following the European Union’s fifth package of sanctions against Russia. Binance officially announced Thursday new limitations for Russian nationals or residents of Russia, restricting such persons from trading if they hold over 10,000 Euros ($10,800). Restricted accounts are no longer able to deposit or trade using Binance’s spot, futures, custody wallets as well as staked and earned deposits. The restriction relates to Russian nationals, natural persons residing in Russia as well as legal entities…

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US Treasury Dept lists crypto mining firm in latest sanctions against Russia

The United States Treasury Department has added Russia-based crypto mining services provider BitRiver and several subsidiaries as firms facilitating the evasion of sanctions.  In a Wednesday announcement, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, said it was taking action against BitRiver AG as well as 10 of its Russia-based subsidiaries, naming the companies as ‘Specially Designated Nationals’. Firms and individuals listed as such by OFAC have their assets blocked and “U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.” According to the U.S. Treasury, the actions against…

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North Korea-obsessed Ethereum dev gets 5 years for breaking sanctions

Virgil Griffith, a former Ethereum (ETH) developer has been sentenced to 63 months in prison and will pay a fine of $100,000 for attending a conference and assisting North Korea use blockchain technology in contravention of economic sanctions imposed by the United States. On Tuesday, April 12, U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel of the Southern District of New York handed down the decision. Judge Castel stated that “what you see here is intentionality, a deliberate, willful intent to violate the sanctions’ regime,” adding that the crime was made worse because…

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