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USA’s DFS to Use Blockchain to Strengthen Sanctions Enforcement Against Russia

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) will use blockchain analytics technology to build strengthen the enforcement of the sanctions against Russia. Specifically, the effort will be to detect if Russian individuals try to bypass the imposed penalties.

Blockchain Technology to Help Monitor Sanction Enforcement

The Department of Financial Services oversees numerous key programs and initiatives concerning the monetary sector. As a result of the growing conflict in Ukraine, it will expand its efforts towards Russian citizens, too.

According to a recent statement, the DFS will use blockchain technology to monitor if the financial sanctions applied to Russia are appropriately executed. It will also observe whether some individuals seek a backdoor to avoid embargoes.

Adrienne Harris – Superintendent at the agency – predicted that bad actors will try to evade sanctions through the transmission of digital currencies. As such, “it is imperative that we have the ability to monitor transactions and exposure in real-time,” she outlined.

Harris also asserted that the DFS will coordinate its operations with federal and other state regulators. Their joint efforts must “ensure the full weight of our regulatory regime is brought to bear in the fight to protect Ukraine,” the exec concluded.

Speaking on the matter was also Kathy Hochul – Governor of New York State. The politician stated New Yorkers are following the situation in Ukraine with “fear and outage, and in response, we are taking further action.” In her view, the sanctions against Russia are one way to destabilize it, and the US will continue enforcing such penalties in response to the “unwarranted attack.”

Using Blockchain Technology During Previous Crisis

Prior to the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, all eyes were on the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the health disaster was spreading rapidly around the world in 2020 and 2021, the vaccination campaigns lessened its impact. However, bad actors took the opportunity to smuggle medical products and compromise the program.

Earlier this year, the Asia-based medical services company Zuellig Pharma developed a blockchain platform to improve its vaccine tracking service and prevent accidents in this field. Once it integrated the technology, the information became auditable in real-time, started offering instant results, and did not require an intermediary.

Daniel Laverick – Vice-President at Zuellig Pharma – noted that blockchain technology enabled users to verify the authenticity and the route of the vaccines:

“Patients can scan the 2D data matrix on the product packaging to verify key product information like expiry date, temperature, and provenance through its app powered by blockchain.”


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