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US lawmakers introduce bills that could force crypto exchanges to cut ties with Russian wallets


Representative Brad Sherman will introduce legislation in the House. Which targeted at punishing American companies that handle cryptocurrency transactions for Russian banks and people.

Sherman said he will introduce a companion bill to Senator Elizabeth Warren‘s legislation. Giving the Biden administration “explicit authority to require that crypto exchanges that are subject to U.S. law stop facilitating transactions with Russian-based crypto wallets,” during a hybrid markup meeting with the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday. Warren originally mentioned the idea on March 8. And then said she would introduce it on Thursday during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

At the time of publishing, neither bill’s text was available in legislative records. Warren’s proposed legislation, on the other hand, would purportedly provide the Treasury Department with the right to prohibit crypto exchanges under US jurisdiction from processing transactions from any crypto addresses owned by Russian persons. In addition, taxpayers in the United States obliged to record any crypto transactions outside the country that exceed $10,000 to FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that one of the instruments available to the administration is the power to inform crypto exchanges that if they’re doing business in the US, they can’t do business with Russia-based crypto wallets until the crisis is over,” Sherman said.

Russian accounts would require a legislative mandate

Sherman, who has made several anti-crypto statements in the past, including calling for a ban on digital assets, cited Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, who requested that all exchanges “block addresses of Russian users”. Ostensibly without limiting the ban to individuals and businesses named in U.S. and EU sanctions. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao stated that the company will comply with sanctions. But would not block transactions involving all Russian crypto wallets. Whilst Kraken CEO Jesse Powell stated that freezing Russian accounts would require a legislative mandate.

“We will not freeze the accounts of millions of innocent people on a whim,” says the company. In February, a Binance representative declared, “Cryptocurrency is designed to provide people around the world more financial independence.”

On Thursday, Michael Chobanian, the founder of Ukraine’s Kuna crypto exchange, announced that “all support for the Russian ruble” had been removed from the platform. His request to crypto exchanges, on the other hand, includes prohibiting “any interaction with sanctioned individuals”. Presumably not all wallets held by Russian nationals in the country or abroad.

CEXs refuse blanket asset freeze of all Russian users, though questions linger

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