UK Crypto Firms Must Now Report Sanctions Breaches, Freeze Accounts

The U.S. and European Union have also extended sanctions rules to crypto since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine gave way to heightened concerns over the use of digital assets to circumvent restrictions.

AccessTimeIconSep 5, 2022 at 3:33 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:49 p.m. UTC
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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.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.

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