Officials from Japan indicated on Monday that cryptocurrency exchanges have been asked not to handle transactions involving crypto assets that are subject to asset-freeze restrictions against Russia and Belarus.
The request came after a statement from the Group of Seven (G7) on Friday, which stated that “illicit Russian actors leveraging digital assets to enhance and transfer their wealth will face costs.”
Cryptocurrency are being exploited by Russian firms as a backdoor for financial sanctions imposed on the country for invading Ukraine
On Friday, the US Treasury Department published new instructions requiring bitcoin firms operating in the United States to refrain from transacting with sanctioned countries.
“We decided to make an announcement to maintain the G7 momentum,” a senior official from Japan’s Financial Services Agency said. “The sooner the better,” says the narrator.
The FSA and the Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement that the government will work together to improve safeguards against the transfer of funds using crypto assets that would be in violation of the sanctions.
Unauthorized payments to sanctioned targets, including in crypto assets like cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, are punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of one million yen ($8,487.52), according to the FSA.
There were 31 crypto exchanges in Japan as of March 4, according to an industry association.
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