Crypto under the microscope as Russia-Ukraine war continues

The world’s financial regulators remain alert to the way crypto could potentially change the course of resistance and socioeconomics during Russia’s war in Ukraine.

There are two main aspects of concern for regulators; one is how crypto is being used to support the Ukrainian relief effort, and the other is how the world is trying to contain Russia by imposing sanctions.

Many western regulators have already issued stern warnings to anyone attempting to assist the Russian government in circumnavigating the sanctions using crypto.

A Utah-based crypto exchange has become the first to comply, but many others have said they would rather not act to limit financial freedoms in any way – unless specifically required to by law.

Ukraine has already received more than $100m in crypto donations, bolstering hopes that crypto may prove a way to help the 10 million Ukrainians who have been displaced.

Meanwhile, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) has been looking closely at the situation. The FSB is important because it unites numerous financial regulators, finance ministry officials from G20 economies and central banks.

A growing concern is that crypto exchanges are unable to operate legally in many unsanctioned economies and are thus more likely to turn to the likes of the Russian economy.

For example, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has said that 90% of all its applicants for a license to operate in the crypto market in the UK have been turned down for failing a range of criteria. This means they are left with little option but to operate in less strictly regulated markets.

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Updated: 03/22/2022 — 14:00