Reports said that Ukraine is now trying to expose cryptocurrency wallets used by Russian politicians amid warnings that Russia may employ digital coins to circumvent sanctions.
It has been reported that the initiative comes as western allies agree to expel some Russian banks from SWIFT, the global interbank payments system. Authorities in Kyiv have issued a call on social media for information about crypto wallets controlled by politicians in Russia and Belarus.
However, last Saturday, Mykhailo Fedorov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, announced that the country’s crypto community will reward those who provide details leading to their identification.
“Ukrainian crypto community is ready to provide a generous reward for any information about crypto-wallets of Russian and Belarusian politicians and their surroundings. War crimes must be pursued and punished! To share info please contact in Telegram: https://t.co/XHidwUQ8bE.”
The report said that the rewards will be funded by private donations, according to Artem Afian, a lawyer managing the effort. He said that the campaign has already received tips matching political figures with crypto addresses. The plan is to share them with major exchanges and the blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis which has been monitoring Russian transactions.
“We want them to understand that they are not welcome in Ukraine or in crypto.”
Likewise, several trading platforms have imposed restrictions for users based in the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian crypto exchange Kuna told Forklog that it removed all pairs with the Russian ruble and stopped deposits and withdrawals.
Whitebit rejects new registrations from Russia while Cex.io is not accepting or serving customers from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. The government in Kyiv has been urging stronger sanctions against Moscow in the face of advancing Russian forces. The initiative to blacklist wallets owned by Russian politicians comes as Ukraine itself resorts to using cryptocurrency to finance its defense effort. Since the start of the invasion, the country has raised more than $17 million in crypto donations.
Moreover, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Commission, and several EU member states, France, Germany, and Italy, announced their commitment to remove “selected Russian banks” from the SWIFT messaging network for interbank payments.
Leaders said in a joint statement:
“This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally.”
Thus, the tightening of western sanctions, directed at isolating Russia from global finances, has raised concerns among analysts that Moscow may turn to cryptocurrency in order to circumvent the mounting restrictions. Russian institutions have been actively working to regulate crypto transactions and the Ministry of Finance recently submitted a new bill to the federal government.
Source: Bitcoin News