The U.K. Treasury, the government’s finance arm, wants crypto exchanges and wallet providers operating in the country to report suspected sanctions breaches to authorities, updated guidance shows.
Crypto companies must freeze assets and report them to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), an authority within the Treasury, if they suspect they are from a sanctioned entity. The guidance was updated to include “crypto assets” on Aug. 30, the Guardian reported on Sunday.
The U.K. is the latest western jurisdiction to explicitly include crypto in its sanctions rules. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February and countries worldwide imposed heavy financial sanctions on Russia, concerns arose that digital assets were being used to circumvent restrictions. Both the U.S. and the European Union have since clarified that their sanctions rules extend to crypto.
In July, Ukraine prosecutors seized about $3.39 million worth of assets at the time, which included silver, land and apartments from brokers who allegedly facilitated crypto purchases for users in Russia and Russia-occupied territories.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.