Crypto currencies have acted as a well established, albeit volatile, ledger for well over a decade now. The pros behind these currencies being simple, in theory: decentralized and, typically, anonymous possession and use. Because of the hidden nature of crypto, Russians who are trying to move wealth through their country’s borders are likely using using it to bypass the sanctions placed on them by the rest of Europe.
Josh Olszewicz, head of research at Valkyrie Funds, an investment manager that specializes in digital assets / currencies, commented on the issue: ““We do believe it is very likely that Russian companies and nationals are trying to use crypto assets like Bitcoin or the US Dollar-pegged stablecoin, such as Tether (USDT), to circumvent the economic sanctions…”
Russia has been smacked with a number of sanctions, many of which are directly aim at the super wealthy individuals, who help keep Putin’s regime well oiled, as a means of indirectly wounding Russia’s warmongering as a whole. Despite the apparent efficacy of these sanctions, Russians are still taking to Crypto as a potential means to avoid these hindrances.
The ability for crypto to be used this way is very much a part of its intrinsic design. For years, the biggest positive talking points surrounding the currencies all revolve around its anonymity and supposedly de-centralized nature that makes financial decisions private. Its these same supposed pros that are now giving potential work arounds for effected Russian citizens who cannot make use of systems like SWIFT for international currency transport.
Whether or not the use of crypto begins to become a big enough problem so as to make such sanctions next to useless is highly unlikely, but remains to be seen.