Elliptic Identifies Crypto Addresses Tied to Russian Sanctioned Actors

With the conflict between Russia and Ukraine ongoing, blockchain surveillance companies have talked about and also implemented tactics for preventing sanctioned countries from using digital assets to evade sanctions. Chainalysis had disclosed some screening tools last week that could be used by crypto companies to comply with the global sanctions. A blog post was published on Monday by the CEO of Elliptic, which described how the company was working on combating the possible evasion of sanctions. A blockchain surveillance firm, Elliptic’s chief executive officer, Simone Maini published the blog post this week to talk about how his company is dealing with sanction evasions via crypto assets.

The blog post of the CEO said that the war between Ukraine and Russia had made it apparent that powerful technologies like crypto can be used both positively and negatively. The executive talked about how crypto had been used to raise funds for helping the Ukrainian government, along with NGOs based in Ukraine. On the other hand, his blog post also talked about how Russian-backed forces had made use of digital assets. The Elliptic executive added that there was no denying that Russia could use crypto assets for evading the sanctions via concealment of wealth, state-sponsored cybercrime and also crypto mining.

Maini went on to say that they had boosted their efforts for helping the fintech industry to prevent Russia from circumventing sanctions. Up until now, the company has managed to identify about 400 VASPs i.e. virtual asset service providers, who are accepting Russian rubles for digital currency trading. Furthermore, the company has also managed to link almost 15 million crypto addresses that are connected to criminal activity originating in Russia. To add to it, the blockchain surveillance firm has also managed to identify a substantial number of crypto addresses that are connected to Russians who have been sanctioned.

The chief executive of Elliptic said that they had managed to identify several hundred thousand crypto addresses that were connected to Russian actors who have been sanctioned. He said that these were addresses that were not on the sanction list, but they had conducted their own analysis and associated them with these actors. Currently, the Russian ruble and BTC trading pair is the 23rd most-used, while it is the 15th-most used trading pair with the stablecoin tether (USDT). Along with Elliptic, Chainalysis also disclosed that they were introducing two new tools that would assist crypto companies in combating entities that are evading sanctions.

Moreover, in the first week of March, Coinbase, the renowned digital currency exchange, had also disclosed that more than 25,000 crypto addresses had been blacklisted on the platform due to their connections with Russia. The announcement from Elliptic via the CEO’s blog post indicates that not only is the company monitoring crypto addresses, but is also keeping an eye on crypto asset wallets. Maini said that they were monitoring the wallets connected to Russian oligarchs and were collaborating with government organizations and agencies for ensuring that Russians cannot hide their wealth by using crypto assets.