The European Commission is studying whether cryptoassets are being used to get around financial sanctions imposed on Russian banks following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, a senior European Union official said on Wednesday.
Trading volumes between the Russian rouble and the Tether cryptocurrency spiked on Monday as the local currency tumbled to a record low on Western sanctions.
Crypto-exchange Binance has, however, blocked accounts of any Russian clients targeted by sanctions.
A senior EU official said the EU is aware that cryptoassets were a “possible circumvention route” to avoid sanctions imposed by the bloc and other western powers.
The EU’s executive European Commission has been reading reports in the press on cryptoassets and has also received information directly, the official said.
“The increase in value of some of these assets maybe a response to attempts to circumvent the sanctions. We are looking into this, but no decision has been taken,” the EU official said.