A senior administration official has stated that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not a viable workaround for Russia to bypass sanctions.
“On Russia, in particular, the use of cryptocurrency we do not think is a viable workaround to the set of financial sanctions we’ve imposed across the entire Russian economy and, in particular, to its central bank,” the official said on background.
“The administration will continue to aggressively combat the misuse of cryptocurrency, including the use of it to evade U.S. sanctions,” he said. “And that stance equally applies to the Russia-Ukraine crises, as it does to any other nation or regime or non-state actor that seeks to undermine U.S. national security.”
But where it concerns the sanctions imposed on Russia, which includes many of their banks being kicked out of SWIFT, crypto is not much help.
Instead, “we can do it with gold,” Turkey’s president Recep Erdogan is quoted as telling his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
He also offered to accept rubles or yuan, with it clearly being more a matter of policy where state level sanctions are concerned, rather than what currency is used.
Something like bitcoin can help ordinary Russians bypass their own government sanctions however, including strict capital controls, as they wouldn’t have to go through Russian banks which would enforce such a thing.