- 15 million cryptocurrency addresses were also linked to Russian criminal activities.
- According to Robinson, there is a debate over the magnitude of crypto use.
Elliptic, a company specializing in blockchain analytics and security, collaborates with law enforcement to identify cryptocurrency wallets linked to banned persons or groups. A wallet with “significant crypto-asset holdings” in the millions of dollars has been uncovered by a UK-based business, which may be tied to sanctioned Russian authorities and oligarchs.
Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson suggested in an interview with Bloomberg on March 14 that cryptocurrency might be used to evade sanctions. However, it has been widely reported and recognized that Russia is unlikely to use crypto assets to avoid the sanctions that have been imposed. However, neither the amount nor kind of the crypto assets found in the wallet was specified in this report. According to Robinson, there is a debate over the magnitude of crypto use.
“It’s not proving out realistic that oligarchs can completely bypass sanctions by moving all their wealth into crypto. Crypto is highly traceable. Crypto can and will be used for sanctions evasion, but it’s not the silver bullet.”
Exchange Digital Assets for Rubles
At this point, Elliptic has identified more than 400 crypto businesses that allow its customers to exchange digital assets for rubles anonymously. Fifteen million cryptocurrency addresses were also linked to Russian criminal activities.
According to Robinson, the week leading up to the outbreak of war saw an increase in ruble-related activity on several of these platforms. One such supplier is Tornado Cash, which encrypts Ethereum and ERC-20 transactions and refuses to cooperate with penalties.
Elliptic has also kept a close eye on cryptocurrency contributions for the Ukrainian humanitarian endeavour. At 23.30 UTC on March 11, it announced that a total of $63.8 million had been sent to the Ukrainian government and a non-profit organization that supports the military.