Switzerland May Target Crypto Assets Belonging to Sanctioned Russians – Neutral Switzerland may target crypto assets belonging to sanctioned Russian firms on its territory.
According to the report, the measure is being taken to defend the integrity of the country’s cryptocurrency business. However, the official advises that crypto-assets not held on cryptocurrency exchanges are impossible to target.
An official from the traditionally neutral Switzerland has stated that the country may “target” all crypto asset service points held by Russians and all organizations sanctioned by the European Union within its territory.
To accomplish this, the Federal Council of the non-EU country said that it will amend its sanctions regulations to include prohibitions against cryptocurrency.
According to an unidentified source from Switzerland’s finance ministry, denying Russian digital currency holders access to their crypto assets also helps to “protect the integrity” of the country’s cryptocurrency business.
Switzerland has already implemented the EU’s punitive sanctions against Russia, whose financial institutions are accused of sheltering Russian oligarchs’ assets.
Despite the introduction of penalties, several lawmakers and officials in the United States and Europe have expressed worries about sanctioned Russians using crypto assets to avoid sanctions.
Opponents of crypto assets have long claimed that they are used by criminals and to launder money, even before the Russian military’s intervention into Ukraine.
While a Swiss finance ministry source featured in the Financial Times (FT) report justified the move to target Russian digital asset users, the official also cautions that freezing crypto assets housed on a non-centralized platform is nearly impossible.
The official went on to say:
“If someone keeps their crypto key themselves, it will be nearly impossible to track them down no matter where they are. However, if they use crypto services such as finances, exchanges, and so on, we can target these service locations.”
The government can only lock out sanctioned crypto-assets holders who use service points like exchanges and funds, according to the official.