US Blacklists Bitcoin, Ether Addresses Tied to Russian Sanctions-Evasion Efforts

The addresses are linked to Russia's arms exports intermediary, according to OFAC.

AccessTimeIconFeb 1, 2023 at 5:04 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 1, 2023 at 5:35 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Treasury Department's sanctions watchdog, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), has blacklisted a bitcoin and an ether address it has linked to sanctions evasion.

According to a press release, Igor Zimenkov and his son Jonatan are part of "a broad network of individuals and entities" that tried to sell defense equipment to "third-country governments." Jonatan Zimenkov, a Russian national, was tied to the two addresses, which in turn were linked to both his father and Rosoboroneksport OAO, according to OFAC. The company is Russia's intermediary for arms exports, according to its website.

"As part of these efforts, Igor and Jonatan Zimenkov both had direct correspondence with sanctioned Russian defense firms," an OFAC press release said. "They have additionally been involved in multiple deals for Russian cybersecurity and helicopter sales abroad and have engaged directly with Rosoboroneksport’s potential clients to enable sales of Russian defense materiel."

Neither the bitcoin nor ether address showed any cryptocurrency at press time. The bitcoin address, which does not appear to have held more than 0.01 BTC (worth around $230 at press time), was last used in December 2022. The ether address had more than 5,400 ETH flow through, but has not been active in nearly a year.

Perhaps more interesting, the ether address received funds from another address that crypto analytics firm Arkham Intelligence identified as "a large wallet that is very active in OTC trading" in November. That address received funds from Alameda Research, the now-defunct trading shop founded by FTX creator Sam Bankman-Fried.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.