US Treasurer: Crypto for Evading Sanctions ‘Not Enough’

US Treasurer: Crypto for Evading Sanctions ‘Not Enough’
  • Neille Liang indicated that the crypto market is still undeveloped to be used to evade sanctions in a large-scale way.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren presented a bill to ensure Russia not to undermine economic sanctions.
  • President Joe Biden signed an executive order on crypto regulation last week.

Neille Liang, Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, stated that the crypto market is too small to run an economy on. In addition, Liang said the crypto environment is still undeveloped to successfully aid sanctions evasion for Russia.

At an interview with Reuters on Friday, the Treasury undersecretary said:

“The transaction size we’ve seen is fairly small. Of course, we recognize we may not see everything, but there is a fair amount of oversight. At this point, we just don’t see that it could be used in a large-scale way to evade sanctions.”

The official disclosed that the Treasury has been looking at the matter for years. Furthermore, the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies and other countries showed concerns about the use of cryptocurrency for illicit finance.

Liang added:

“While it’s growing because the use of crypto is growing, its share as a medium for illicit finance is not anywhere as large as just using cash.”

Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed misgivings despite several sources claiming cryptocurrency won’t help Russian oligarchs to evade sanctions. In fact, she presented a bill titled “Digital Asset Sanctions Compliance Enhancement Act of 2022.”

The bill aims to ensure economic sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian elites. This is to prevent them from using crypto to undermine the global community’s sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. However, Jerry Brito, the executive director of DC-based think tank Coin Center, slammed Sen. Warren. Specifically, he said that Warren’s bill is unnecessary, overbroad, and unconstitutional.

Earlier, President Joe Biden ordered the Treasury to tap all pertinent agencies for a report on future payment systems. Meanwhile, the implementation of the executive order on crypto regulation will be led by Liang.

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