Blockchain forensic firm finds millions in sanctioned crypto wallets
Blockchain security and forensics firm Elliptic has been working with authorities to expose crypto wallets linked to sanctioned individuals or entities.
The UK-based firm has discovered a wallet with “significant crypto assets” worth millions of dollars that may be linked to Russian officials and oligarchs punished.
Talking to Bloomberg On March 14, Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson said that cryptocurrency can be used to evade sanctions. However, it is widely reported and widely accepted today that Russia very unlikely to pivot to crypto-assets to break them.
The report did not specify the exact value of the cryptocurrency in the wallets it discovered or the nature of the assets it held. Robinson added that the scale of crypto use is in question, explaining:
“It is not realistically proven that financiers can completely bypass sanctions by moving all their assets into crypto. Cryptocurrencies are highly traceable. Cryptocurrency can and will be used to evade sanctions, but it is not a silver bullet. “
Elliptic has identified more than 400 crypto services that allow users to anonymously trade digital assets in rubles. It also connects more than 15 million crypto addresses to Russian-related criminal activity.
Robinson added that ruble-related activity on some of these services spiked the week before the war broke out. Tornado Cash, which anonymizes Ethereum and ERC-20 transactions, is one such provider that can denied to restrict service or comply with sanctions.
“In general, the level of sanction compliance is very high,” said Robinson, referring to popular exchanges like Coinbase and Binance have complied with sanction requests from global regulators.
Elliptic has also tracked crypto donations that support Ukraine’s humanitarian effort. Its newest update on March 11 at 23:30 UTC it was revealed that a total of $63.8 million had been sent to the Ukrainian government and an NGO providing assistance to the military.
Merkel Science has tapped several sources for reportshows a much higher figure of $93.6 million in total crypto donations to Ukraine.