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Russia-linked fintechs hit with US sanctions

Russia-linked fintechs hit with US sanctions

The US government has imposed sanctions on 13 fintechs for offering crypto-based services to Russian firms looking to evade the economic restrictions in place since the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

According to the US Treasury Department, the fintechs, along with two individuals, have "either helped build or operate blockchain-based services or enabled virtual currency payments in the Russian financial sector, thus enabling potential sanctions evasion". 

The sanctioned firms include Russia-based B-Crypto, Masterchain and Laitkhaus, all of which have partnered with Russian banks and to issue, transfer and exchange digital assets. 

Another fintech, Netexchnage, has been sanctioned for running a crypto exchange while Atomaiz has been penalised for tokenising precious metals for Russian companies.

“Russia is increasingly turning to alternative payment mechanisms to circumvent U.S. sanctions and continue to fund its war against Ukraine,” said Brian Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financuial Intelligence.

“As the Kremlin seeks to leverage entities in the financial technology space, Treasury will continue to expose and disrupt the companies that seek to help sanctioned Russian financial institutions reconnect to the global financial system,” said Nelson.


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