Russia seems to be in a very difficult situation at the moment, because the whole country has been under the effects of the sanctions imposed by several nations around. Also, over time, the penalties imposed are getting stricter and it looks like the Russians are trying to use cryptocurrencies to get the job done, according to a report by Elliptic.
the report From Elliptic, a London-based blockchain analytics provider founded in 2013, there are around 400 Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), mostly exchanges, in Russia where cryptocurrencies can be purchased with rubles , the native fiat currency of the nation. Importantly, the analytics firm’s report linked several million crypto addresses to these exchanges, most of which required no KYC or identification to use them.
The report also states that Elliptic has “directly linked more than 15 million cryptocurrency addresses to criminal activity with a connection to Russia.” This means that there are a growing number of Russians trying to launder their profits. Additionally, the report also states that they “have identified several hundred thousand crypto addresses linked to sanctioned Russian-based actors.”
This goes beyond those included in sanctions lists to include other addresses that we have been able to associate with these actors through our own analysis.
Collaboration with government agencies
Elliptic is also working with government agencies to identify and investigate “crypto asset portfolios suspected of being linked to sanctioned Russian officials and oligarchs.” As described in their post, the blockchain analytics firm stated that “those responsible for the brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine cannot use crypto assets to hide their wealth.”
Just like Elliptic, Chainalysis, another blockchain analytics company, also brought two sanctions screening tools which will be available for free. Additionally, they also launched an on-chain oracle and API. However, the API will arrive next month while the oracle is already online.