While the United States and the European Union are taking steps to prevent Russia from using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions, some countries in Asia are also on the right track in responding to the situation.
Japan to fine cryptocurrency exchanges for violating sanctions
Japan became the latest country in Asia to contact crypto companies to comply with sanctions against Russia, demanding on Monday that they not process crypto transactions involving individuals or entities under sanctions in Russia and Belarus.
The Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the Ministry of Finance issued a joint statement regarding sanctions against Russia, emphasizing that cryptocurrencies are part of the restrictions and that all cryptocurrencies identified as being associated with sanctions should be frozen.
Allegedly, the FSA said that all unauthorized authorized transactions, including cryptocurrency or non-fungible token (NFT) transfers, are subject to severe penalties such as up to three years in prison or a 1 million yen ($8,500) fine. .
The Japanese government’s latest warning of sanctions came shortly after the European Union, the US and the G7 announced new measures targeting the Russian economy and the wealthy over possible attempts to circumvent sanctions with cryptocurrencies.
Singapore banned fundraising in cryptocurrency for Russia
Other Asian countries such as Singapore have also tried to comply with sanctions against Russia. Last week, Singapore reportedly banned all local financial institutions from dealing with Russian banks under sanctions and facilitated fundraising for the Russian government and related entities, with the sanctions covering transactions in cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens and other digital assets. . .
It is reported that the heads of some crypto firms, such as the Luno crypto exchange, have suggested that most crypto firms in Singapore will not have direct business relationships with individuals or entities based in Russia. ADDX, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore, said the fund was not affected by sanctions against Russia.
“We conduct KYC and anti-money laundering checks for all of our investors and therefore do not conduct any anonymous transactions,” said ADDX CEO Oi-Yi Chu.
Major crypto exchanges in South Korea block Russian IP addresses
Previously, South Korea also joined the global sanctions against Russia, with several local crypto exchanges blocking Russian IP addresses or users.
Major South Korean exchanges, including Upbit, have blocked withdrawals from Russian-owned IP addresses since March 3, according to a report by local news agency Yonhap. IP address protocol.
While some countries are moving towards restricting the use of cryptocurrencies due to possible sanctions evasion, other governments are turning to cryptocurrencies as one of the few ways Russians can pay for services abroad in the face of widespread global sanctions.
Thai association proposes to allow Russians to pay with cryptocurrencies, since other payment methods are prohibited
On March 8, the head of the Phuket Tourism Association, Bhumekti Rohtingam, revealed that the group was in talks with the Bank of Thailand about the possible use of cryptocurrencies as an alternative payment option for Russian tourists stuck in the country due to sanctions.
Previously, Russians could not use Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards abroad because the payment giants decided to cut support for all Russians as part of the sanctions.
“Cryptocurrencies will act as a backup until transactions can be carried out,” Bomchetti noted.
As regulators around the world actively seek to reduce Russia’s chances of evading crypto-currency sanctions, some domestic lawmakers are also beginning to view crypto-currency as a potential tool to circumvent some of the restrictions.
On the subject: Bitfinex refuses to freeze cryptocurrency for Russians who are not subject to sanctions
On Sunday, Russian State Duma deputy Alexander Yakubovsky suggested that Russia create and use its own cryptocurrency exchanges to mitigate the effects of global sanctions against Russia.
“Cryptocurrency is an area where it is difficult to talk about really effective restrictions on our country,” Yakubovsky said in an interview with the local news agency Parlamentskaya Gazeta. As previously reported, Russian authorities have deliberately restricted their legitimate cryptocurrency exchange services to only foreign companies such as Binance, and the Bank of Russia has deliberately banned domestic financial companies from offering cryptocurrency investments.