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Elliptic Reveals How Crypto Is Used as a Medium to Evade Sanctions in Russia

Many wallets are linked to Russian officials on the sanctions list identified by Elliptic.

Additionally, it listed more than 400 virtual asset service providers (VASPs), mostly exchanges, where people buy crypto with the ruble.

Quick take:

  • Hundreds of thousands of crypto wallets and addresses related to Russians on the sanctioned list have been discovered by cryptocurrency security firm Elliptic. 
  • It's also looking into wallets associated with Russian billionaires and politicians.

Security company Elliptic has investigated how Russia uses cryptocurrencies to circumvent economic sanctions. 

According to the report, crypto is used by Russia as a means to avoid sanctions and hide wealth. Elliptic conducted data analysis and investigation to gain insight into this use, including possibly finding assets owned by sanctioned Russians.  

Elliptic has been working in this field since 2013 with the vision to combat money laundering and sanction evasions using cryptocurrency.

The current scenario involving the war has shown us how crypto can be helpful in these challenging conditions. But on the other hand, crypto is being used negatively too.

Elliptic digs out sanctioned crypto wallets

Through data collection, analysis, and investigations, Elliptic identified over 400 virtual asset service providers where users can use Rubles to purchase cryptocurrencies.

It implied that millions of crypto addresses were linked to these businesses. Almost all of these services were anonymous and unregulated.

Out of all the findings, elliptic linked more than 15 million cryptocurrency addresses to criminal activity with a nexus in Russia. It additionally identified thousands of crypto addresses linked to Russian-based sanctioned actors.

In addition, it is actively investigating crypto asset wallets associated with Russian officials and oligarchs subject to sanctions. 

Through collaboration with government agencies and other organizations, it is working to ensure that those responsible for such a violent and illegal invasion of Ukraine cannot hide their wealth with crypto assets.

Elliptic said that it's in everyone’s power to utilize cryptocurrency responsibly. We can change the notion that crypto is just money laundering and a Ponzi scheme with collective efforts. Its utility is far beyond all that notions.



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