Congresswoman Calls Yellen to Account for Her Work on Crypto Targeting in Russian Sanctions Evasion
Lawmakers want more answers on the Treasury’s work targeting crypto in circumventing Russia’s sanctions.
On April 6, Janet Yellen, Secretary of the US Treasury Department, testified before the House Financial Services Committee in a hearing entitled “The State of the International Financial System”.
Although Yellen only said the word “sanction” once in his opening statements, it was the focus of many committee officials, many of them on ways to strengthen sanctions against the Russian government.
Nydia Velásquez (D-NY), the second-longest-serving Democrat on the committee, shed light on the role of crypto, asking Yellen:
“Many of us on this committee are concerned about a potential use of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets to avoid sanctions,” Velásquez asked. “How does the Treasury Department fulfill this promise? »
Yellen listed the Treasury’s work on sanctioning cryptocurrencies, saying “we are monitoring any attempt to use cryptocurrency to evade sanctions.”
She listed the work of the Office of Foreign Asset Control and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to target crypto exchanges serving Russian cybercrime, including naming darknet market Hydra and affiliate crypto exchange Garantex as recently as ‘yesterday.
The Treasury has made a number of public statements on crypto and sanctions over the past month and a half in response to widespread political concern over the issue. This despite limited evidence that it is happening or even viable in the case of Russia.
In contrast, Republicans were generally more interested in explanations for why the Treasury hadn’t done more to target Russian energy markets.