The US Treasury has published a review of the sanctions and called on the government to do more to develop infrastructure and digital asset policy.
A financial report released Monday said the increased use of digital assets is hampering sanctions, while balancing funds from legitimate humanitarian organizations. The administration suggested that improving communication between it and the crypto industry, financial institutions and others, as well as “deepening institutional knowledge and capacity,” could help improve existing policies.
“Sanctions are an essential tool to further our national security interests,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wali Adeemo said. “A Treasury Department sanctions review shows that this powerful tool continues to deliver results, but it also faces new challenges. We are determined to work with partners and allies to modernize and strengthen this critical tool.”
The report added:
“If these digital assets and payment systems are left unchecked, they could harm the effectiveness of our sanctions.”
According to the report, the Treasury Department called on the government to adopt a structured policy framework, coordinate with allies and partners where possible, and ensure that sanctions are understandable, workable and adaptable, and applied “to mitigate unintended economic, political, and humanitarian consequences.” The administration added that it should be updated to include “experiences.” necessary, technology and personnel” to meet the challenges of digital assets.
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The US Treasury uses sanctions as part of the government’s efforts to combat ransomware attacks that threaten the country’s infrastructure, as happened when Russia’s Darkside hackers attacked Colonial’s pipeline system in May. The ministry announced last month that it would impose sanctions on the Czech Republic, as well as Russia-based Suex OTC, for allegedly giving hackers access to cryptocurrencies sent as payment for ransomware attacks.