Millionaire crypto wallet linked to Russian oligarchs sanctioned

Blockchain security firm Elliptic has worked with authorities to expose affiliated crypto wallets to sanctioned individuals or organizations. The UK-based company uncovered a portfolio with "significant stakes in crypto-assets" that could be linked to sanctioned Russian officials and oligarchs. Speaking to Bloomberg on March 14, Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson said cryptography could be used to evade sanctions. However, it has been widely reported and generally accepted that Russia is very unlikely to rely on crypto assets to circumvent such sanctions. The report did not specify the exact value of the cryptocurrency in the wallet it discovered or the nature of the assets it held. Robinson added that: “It is not proving realistic that the oligarchs can completely circumvent sanctions by shifting all their wealth into crypto. Crypto is highly traceable. Crypto can and will be used for the evasion of sanctions ", but it will change things little.

Elliptic has already identified more than 400 cryptographic services that allow anonymous users to trade digital assets for rubles. It also linked more than 15 million crypto addresses to Russian-related criminal activity. Robinson added that ruble-related assets on some of these services increased the week before the outbreak of the war. Tornado Cash, which anonymizes Ethereum and ERC-20 transactions, is one such provider that has refused to restrict services or comply with sanctions. “In general, the level of compliance with sanctions is very high,” Robinson said of high profile exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance which have complied with sanctions requests from global regulators. Elliptic also monitored crypto donations in support of the Ukrainian humanitarian effort. Its latest update on 11 March at 11.30pm UTC revealed that there had been a total of $ 63.8 million sent to the Ukrainian government and an NGO providing support to the military. Merkel Science tapped several sources for its report, which shows a much higher figure of $ 93.6 million in total crypto donations for Ukraine.