$173.91 -3.34%
ETH · 1w

Cryptocurrency isn’t the primary threat to sanctions enforcement -- Coin Center

Authoritarian states may not be may not be that interested in payments networks they can’t control

The effect of cryptocurrency technology on the U.S.’s ability to enforce sanctions is a topic that has been receiving more and more government attention. Mostly it has been a reaction to Venezuela’s attempt to create an oil-backed token called the Petro. This scheme has led the White House to issue an executive order, and Congress to consider a bill codifying that order. The Treasury department also recently issued guidance emphasizing the sanctions obligations of digital currency intermediaries with regard to the sanctions on Iran.

The use of cryptocurrency to evade sanctions has dangerous potential that should be taken very seriously. That said, the real risk to sanctions enforcement comes not from technology, but from an escalating challenge to the U.S.-dominated international payments system. According to a insightful recent article by Yaya Fanusie, a former CIA analyst, and director of analysis at the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,

[T]he greatest sanctions risk is a long term one; that nation-states that desire to displace the U.S. dollar as a global trading currency might do so slowly, by creating a functioning parallel value-transfer system that does not move U.S. dollars or go through New York City. This would be an alternative to the SWIFT infrastructure that is essential to transferring funds today. Such a system would not respond to the current sanctions enforcement playbook.

In effect, the threat to the U.S.’s ability to enforce sanctions comes not from blockchain technology, but from the desire to end the U.S.’s dominance of international payments and settlement. Even European states like France, Germany, and the UK have agreed to work with Russia and China to develop a payments system that routes around U.S. sanctions on Iran. Given such a drive, what technology they choose t...

Continue on
Recent news
ETH -3.34% · · 5h

Week in Ethereum

News and LinksLayer 1 • [Eth 2.0] What’s New in Eth 2.0 • [Eth 2.0] implementers call. Agenda • [Eth 2.0] Notes from Prague workshop sessions • [Eth 2.0] Prysmatic Labs dev update, first RanDAO...
ETH -3.34% · · 6h

New User Interface – Radar Relay

We’ve checked off our list of backend improvements and are now tackling user interface with a rebuild of our front-end. These updates are a response to the wealth of feedback we’ve received from…
ETH -3.34% · · 6h

Augmentors Game's DTB is moving to ERC20!

Hey guys! In this week’s update I take you through the tutorial changes we implemented in V1.0.7 based on the guidance from Apple, as well as give you an update on the blockchain integration. I hope…
ETH -3.34% · · 8h

Mainnet Means Maturity – Blog

If you’ve been following closely, you know that we’re right around the corner from moving the protocol over from testnet to mainnet. is special compared with other blockchain…
ETH -3.34% · · 9h

A New 'Fortnite' Awaits In Blockchain Gaming

Fortnite's massive success was unprecedented, but since then it has been copied. This article looks like the in-game purchase economy and how even in games like Fortnite, players and developers still ...