OFAC adds crypto addresses as identifiers on its sanction list
On February 1st, the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) announced enforcing blocking sanctions on several individuals and entities in relation to a sanction evasion group supporting Russia’s military-industrial complex.
For one of the sanctioned individuals, OFAC added two crypto addresses as identifiers, one Ethereum and one Bitcoin address.
OFAC is the first US government agency to publicly add cryptocurrency addresses to its sanction list. This highly publicized move signals that OFAC is expanding its scope of enforcing sanctions beyond traditional banking and financial systems, into the digital era – including cryptocurrencies.
This public enforcement action by OFAC demonstrates increased attention on individuals who use cryptocurrencies for illicit activities and highlights their vulnerability to financial sanctions. It is expected that similar enforcement actions will be taken in the future, as OFAC continues to expand its efforts to monitor and enforce sanctions on those who attempt to exploit digital currencies for illicit activities.
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