On March 17th, 2022 Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and a number of her other colleagues introduced the Digital Asset Sanctions Compliance Enhancement Act of 2022. This bill is meant to prevent Russian persons (wealthy oligarchs and banks) from maneuvering around established sanctions with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
While presenting the bill during a press release, Warren claimed that President Putin and his “cronies” are able to move, store, and hide their wealth with the help of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. She goes on to explain that the new bill will strengthen the United States’ sanction program to further prevent Russia and their allies from participating in global commerce.
The bill calls for a report from the U.S. President will identify any foreign person that operates a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency service that offers financial, material, or technological support to those associated with the Russian Federation. This report must be conducted and submitted to Congress within the next 90 days.
Any individuals or entities acting against these sanctions will be fined up to $1 million in accordance with section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers. The President has the authority to determine who violates these sanctions, and also has the power to waive the imposition of sanctions on certain individuals and entities that are acting in accordance with national security.
The bill goes on to explain that the Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, will determine which Bitcoin and cryptocurrency companies must comply with the terms of this act. These businesses will be identified as those transacting or providing services with people or entities within the Russian Federation. Yellen and her team will provide a report that determines the best course of action in the interest of national security.
If this act is passed, within 120 days the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will require all U.S. persons performing an international transaction that exceeds the amount of $10,000 to file a report based on Title 31 Section 1010.350.
At this time, there is no mention of specific steps that will be used to enforce what is laid out in the bill.
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