Singapore Expands Sanctions Against Russia to Include Crypto Institutions
The Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s central bank, has broadened its unilateral financial actions against Russia by adding cryptocurrency exchanges and services.
This is the latest step taken by Singapore to prevent Russia from exploiting flaws in the financial sanctions imposed on it. According to the MAS, the restriction now extends to all financial institutions within the city-state.
According to Bloomberg, the measures cover financial institutions, banks, capital market intermediaries, insurers, payment service providers, and securities exchanges. The central bank stated in a statement that cryptocurrency services and suppliers are now prohibited from engaging in crypto transactions with Russia.
The latest step comes only a day after the central bank unveiled new cryptocurrency trading restrictions.
An MAS spokesman said in an interview:
“MAS has consistently warned the public that investing in cryptocurrencies is highly risky as investment products and not suitable for the general public. Singapore is not alone in holding this view — some jurisdictions have also taken measures in relation to advertising by crypto firms,”
Concerns that Russia would deploy cryptocurrency arose shortly after the commencement of “special military operations” in Ukraine. However, several countries reacted quickly and added cryptocurrency to the list of targeted financial sanctions.
On March 9, the European Commission said that crypto assets had been added to the list of penalties, defining them as “transferable securities.”
The EU statement said:
“These amendments create a closer alignment of EU sanctions regarding Russia and Belarus and will help to ensure even more effectively that Russian sanctions cannot be circumvented, including through Belarus.”
Previously, the Swiss federal government put a freeze on crypto assets held by Russian businesses and individuals within Swiss borders. The decision, according to the Swiss finance ministry, is meant to defend the integrity of the Swiss blockchain area. Switzerland and its neighbor Liechtenstein are well-established crypto centers, with some 1,128 blockchain enterprises based there.
Cryptocurrency transactions involving Russian firms and people have also been prohibited in Japan and South Korea.
Japanese lawmakers have requested cryptocurrency exchanges to help with sanctions against Russia. South Korean exchanges, such as Gopax, Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit, on the other hand, have blocked Russian Internet Protocols (IP) in order to prevent Russian account users from selling their crypto assets.
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