Cryptocurrency security firm Elliptic has identified hundreds of thousands of addresses and wallets associated with Russians named on the sanctioned list. They are also investigating wallets that may be linked to Russian oligarchs and officials.
Elliptic is currently monitoring Russia’s use of cryptocurrencies to evade recent economic sanctions. The company notes that there is a “real risk” of Russia using crypto to evade sanctions and hide wealth. They conducted a lot of data analysis and investigations to come up with some insights into this use, including the ability to find the assets of the sanctioned Russians.
Exposing the crypto wallets of the punished
Elliptic revealed for the first time that it has identified 400 virtual asset service providers that use rubles to purchase cryptocurrencies. According to statistics, after the news of the sanctions, the purchase of cryptocurrencies with the national currency of Russia increased sharply. Elliptic points out that most of these services are unregulated and anonymous.
But most importantly, the company says more than 15 million addresses carry out “criminal activity with Russia links.” They also discovered hundreds of thousands of wallets and addresses with links to sanctioned organizations in Russia. Finally, the company is actively investigating wallets that may be linked to Russian officials and financiers subject to sanctions.
Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson estimates his coin holdings in the millions of dollars. Regarding the use of cryptocurrencies to hide wealth, he countered several points of view by saying:
“Cryptocurrencies can be used to evade sanctions. But to what extent is that done? It is unrealistic to assume that financiers can completely avoid sanctions by moving all their assets into cryptocurrencies. Crypto is highly traceable. It can and will be used to evade sanctions, but it is not the easiest, fastest, and best solution.”
Cryptocurrencies remain the focal point in the wider world
While digital currency has become increasingly popular on public forums, with the recent Ukraine-Russia conflict, it has become even more widely known. Obviously, there are not only good stories circulating, but also bad news. At the same time, it also fuels uncertainty around regulations.
Ukraine has received over $50 million in crypto donations, and the country’s officials honor it. However, there is also concern that the Russians on the sanctions list are using the emerging asset class to evade sanctions. This has prompted major regulators to consider taking action, including the European Union.
With such a backdrop, it looks likely that there will be more regulation around the world in 2022. For most, however, that is good news and the digital currency market will have its place in the mainstream. economy of many countries.