Blockchain Forensic Firm Finds Millions in Sanctioned Crypto Wallet

Blockchain security and forensics firm Elliptic has been working with authorities to expose crypto wallets affiliated with sanctioned individuals or organizations.

The UK-based company has discovered a wallet containing “significant crypto-asset holdings” in the millions of dollars that may be linked to sanctioned Russian officials and oligarchs.

Speak with Bloomberg on March 14, Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson said crypto can be used for sanctions evasion. However, it has been widely reported and accepted now that it is highly unlikely that Russia will turn to crypto assets to circumvent them.

The report did not specify the exact value of the crypto in the wallet it discovered or the nature of the assets it owned. Robinson added that the extent of crypto use is in question, explaining:

“It doesn’t seem realistic that oligarchs can completely bypass sanctions by moving all their wealth into crypto. Crypto is highly traceable. Crypto can and will be used for sanctions evasion, but it is not a panacea.”

Elliptic has already identified more than 400 crypto services that allow anonymous users to trade digital assets with rubles. It also linked more than 15 million crypto addresses to Russia-related criminal activity.

Robinson added that ruble-related activity on some of these services surged the week before the war broke out. Tornado Cash, which anonymizes Ethereum and ERC-20 transactions, is one such provider that: refused services or comply with sanctions.

“In general, the level of sanctions compliance is very high,” Robinson said, referring to the high-profile exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance that have complied with sanctions requests from global regulators.

Related: Crypto Offers Russia No Way Out of Western Sanctions

Elliptic has also tracked crypto donations that support the Ukrainian humanitarian effort. the newest Updating on March 11 at 11:30 PM UTC revealed that a total of $63.8 million had been sent to the Ukrainian government and an NGO supporting the military.

Merkel Science has tapped several sources for its reportshowing a much higher figure of $93.6 million in crypto donations for Ukraine.

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