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Bankman-Fried Weighs

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Weighs in on Russian Sanction Violations

As the war continued to rage, ruble-denominated Bitcoin values rose sharply. Authorities are now looking for ways to minimize use in dodging financial sanctions. And while the recent activity demonstrated that a collapsing ruble might be driving Russians into Bitcoin, FTX CEO – Sam Bankman-Fried – believes the sanctions have made it difficult for them to access digital assets.

In the latest interview with CNBC, SBF acknowledged witnessing an enormous amount of digital asset activity happening out of Ukraine over the last few weeks. He also cited the need for a stable source of value in addition to the concerns over the existing fiat system as the reasons for the surge. While talking about Russia, the exec stated,

“I think Russia itself is almost a little bit of an exception to that because of the sanctions imposed that have made it difficult for people to access digital assets as well as anything else. But I think in surrounding areas, we have definitely seen an uptick in activity.”

SBF in Sanctions Evasion in DeFi Sector

Many crypto-asset trading platforms and exchanges have resisted several calls to block Russian users as a whole. At the same time, the mainstream financial system has moved to completely isolate Russia by cutting it off from the SWIFT international payment system. As a result, financial institutions of the country, such as banks, are the worst hit as the decisions limited their capacity to leverage their reserves of foreign currency.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is yet another route through which Russian oligarchs may obscure crypto transactions, as noted by many experts. However, FTX CEO believes that with blockchain tech underpinning the decentralized systems, AML, KYC checks, and anti-sanctions evasion activity happening, violations may not be easy.

He also said there are software tracking tools that detect fiat movements in the digital asset ecosystem.

“You can trace through what happened in DeFi systems and often – where this ends up getting to – where people are attempting to get their fiat currencies into the digital assets ecosystem in the first place or where they are looking to cash out and that acts as a barrier between the cryptocurrency world and the traditional financial ecosystem. There is a ton of AML and KYC checks and anti-sanctions evasion activity happening around there.”

Several measures are being taken by western authorities as well as its allies to close loopholes. As reported by CryptoPotato, Japan’s financial regulator is eyeing to ensure that these financial sanctions are carried out effectively.


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