Millions of Crypto Addresses Found to have Links with Sanctioned Russians
Forensic cryptologists have uncovered data on a digital wallet suspected to belong to Russian billionaires and blacklisted authorities. Co-founder Tom Robinson of Elliptic, said Monday that the digital wallet has vast amounts of digital assets. It has been working with law authorities to reveal bitcoin wallets linked to persons or corporations that have been sanctioned.
There have been several rumors that Elliptic has uncovered “several hundred thousand” addresses affiliated with sanctioned Russians and their collaborators, in addition to over 15 million digital wallet addresses linked with Russian illegal behavior already mentioned.
Because of the financial “sanctions” that Russia faces for its war on Ukraine, Western countries worry that Russian billionaires, who are using bitcoin and other anonymous currencies to dodge these harsh financial “penalties.” US sanctions on Russia have been expanded to include cryptocurrencies in a joint statement made a week earlier by Washington, Brussels, London, and the Group of Seven (G7) states.
Cryptocurrency may be utilized to get around sanctions, Robinson warned in a discussion with Bloomberg. “The size, though, is up for debate. By shifting all of their wealth to crypto, it seems impossible for billionaires to completely avoid penalties.” Digital currency sites that allow anonymous users to swap cryptos utilizing the ruble have been discovered by Elliptic. “Cryptocurrency can be traced fairly easily.” Despite the fact that it can and will be utilized to circumvent sanctions, Robinson emphasized.
In the week leading up to Russia’s war on Ukraine, several of the vulnerable services saw a large rise in ruble-linked transactions, according to Robinson. For example, Tornado Cash, a source of anonymous Ethereum and ERC-20 trades, has refused to curtail its offerings or pay penalties in the face of regulatory pressure. An influential American think group called Brookings this week to say that privacy cryptocurrencies like Monero and Zcash should worry authorities more due to their anonymizing characteristics that make them harder to monitor.
Prominent US cryptocurrency exchanges including Coinbase Global and Kraken have consented to comply with restrictions placed but have no plans to prohibit all customers located in Russia, in spite of pleas from Ukrainian authorities and leaders. Cryptocurrency has been more popular among Ukrainians and Russians, whose financial and banking systems have indeed been disrupted by the fighting. Ukraine has also fundraised millions in the form of crypto assets to strengthen its defenses.
Bitcoin, in the meantime, was trading at $38,700, up 0.5 percent in the last 24 hours.