The European Union has imposed a ban on offering high-value crypto-asset services to Russia to prevent Russian citizens from utilizing digital assets to hide their riches.

  • The European Union has prohibited Russia from receiving high-value crypto-asset services.
  • It claims the measures would remove “possible loopholes” that allow Russia’s wealthy to hide their wealth via cryptocurrency.
  • Cryptocurrency has played a significant role on both sides of the Russia-Ukraine war. The West has warned Russians against adopting cryptocurrency to circumvent sanctions, but Ukraine has received more than $130 million in cryptocurrency donations.

According to the EU, the new measure will aid in the closure of any loopholes.

The European Union has banned high-value cryptocurrency services

The European Union is taking further precautions to prevent ultra-wealthy Russian people from concealing their money in crypto as sanctions against Russia tighten.

The EU proposed further sanctions on Russia today to persuade Moscow to remove its soldiers from Ukraine. The package includes a restriction on providing high-value crypto-asset services to Russia, among other measures. The EU claims that the ban would “help to address possible loopholes,” even though it is unclear what “high-value” services are. A transaction restriction and asset freeze on four Russian banks, a coal embargo, and a veto on various other imports and exports are among the additional measures.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the EU and Western nations have piled sanctions on President Vladimir Putin to persuade him to cease the country’s military campaign. The EU’s latest package, which it claims would “help to ramp up economic pressure on the Kremlin and to cripple its capacity to finance its invasion of Ukraine,” is the EU’s sixth in recent weeks. The sanctions include numerous steps to impede Russia’s capacity to connect with crypto assets in response to rising fears that billionaires are resorting to cryptocurrency to avoid limitations. Last month, the G7 and the EU enacted new penalties to prevent Russian elites from using digital assets to mitigate the impact of sanctions.

The Role of Crypto in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

In the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, technology has taken center stage. Social media have fueled the so-called Information War, and Bitcoin has found a home on both sides of the struggle. One of Russia’s senior energy executives recently stated that the nation would accept Bitcoin for gas exports due to the sanctions. In February, demand for the leading cryptocurrency increased as the Ruble’s value fell due to the first round of sanctions.

Meanwhile, Ukraine uses cryptocurrency to generate cash to defend itself against the invasion. In February, the Ukrainian government began accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies as donations. The Ministry of Digital Transformation has since opened an NFT museum dedicated to the war and collaborated with Everstake, FTX, and Kuna on Aid for Ukraine’s initiative. According to the initiative’s contribution website, more than $60 million has been raised so far, bringing the total amount of cryptocurrency raised for the country by the government and other efforts to more than $130 million.

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