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Elliptic identifies 400 cryptocurrency platforms that could be used by Russia

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Blockchain forensics firm Elliptic, which has been tracking the use of cryptocurrencies in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, has published a report on how Russia can use cryptocurrencies to circumvent economic sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe.

According to the publication, more than 400 digital asset trading platforms – mainly exchanges – have been identified where crypto assets can be purchased with rubles.

In addition, Elliptic has linked several million cryptocurrency addresses to these businesses. Most of these services are unregulated and can be used anonymously, according to the company.

Russia’s Use of Cryptocurrencies

Since 2013, Elliptic has been working to combat money laundering and sanctions evasion with cryptocurrencies. Its aim is to build trust in cryptocurrencies, allowing the industry to grow.

Now, with the war between Russia and Ukraine, the world has observed that cryptocurrencies can be used in both positive and negative ways.

Ukraine, for example, has already raised more than $63.8 million in crypto as a form of donation. This is helping the country in fighting Vladimir Putin’s troops.

On the other hand, rising volumes indicate that Russians are also circumventing capital controls and fleeing ruble devaluation with digital currencies.

However, according to Elliptic, there is a risk that Russia could use cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions. For this, it can turn to state-sponsored cybercrime, wealth concealment and cryptocurrency mining.

“Cryptocurrency is certainly not a silver bullet against sanctions. But Iran and North Korea have shown how they can be exploited to lessen their impact. When countries face severe sanctions, they will look to any and all means to generate funds and avoid restrictions.”

Combating criminal activities with cryptocurrencies

In response, Elliptic said it had redoubled its efforts to enable the financial sector to prevent Russian sanctions evasion.

In investigations, Elliptic uncovered more than 15 million crypto addresses linked to nexus criminal activities in Russia.

To combat this, crypto platforms can track transactions/wallets to ensure that profits cannot be laundered.

In addition, the company has identified hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency addresses linked to Russian actors sanctioned in Russia.

“We are actively investigating cryptocurrency wallets believed to be linked to sanctioned Russian authorities and oligarchs. We are collaborating with government agencies and other organizations to ensure that those responsible for allowing the invasion of Ukraine cannot use crypto to hide their wealth.”

Finally, Elliptic reported that the crypto industry can and should shape how digital assets are used. Thus, it can prevent crypto from becoming a money launderer’s paradise.

“We have an opportunity now to demonstrate that a cryptocurrency-based financial system – with the right controls and protections in place – will be safer, fairer and less prone to abuse than what we have now.”

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All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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