The war between Russia and Ukraine precipitates the willingness of European bodies to put Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies under extreme scrutiny. After a first hot report where Bruno Le Maire announced that the EU will “take action” against cryptos and Russia, we now learn more about the sanctions carried by the French and German finance ministers.
Anti-Russian sanctions, an excuse?
As early as February 25, 2022, the day after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, sounded the charge against Bitcoin and crypto-assets, in the name of sanctions against Vladimir Putin.
This Wednesday, March 2, the various finance ministers of the European Union met to discuss this new crisis, and our beloved cryptocurrencies were among the targets discussed.
As reported by Cointelegraph, France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, was among the most vocal. To avoid any circumvention of financial sanctions, and as we mentioned in our previous article, measures on crypto-assets have been taken, and here is a detail:
“We will provide daily updates on the implementation of these sanctions, their effectiveness and any additional measures that may be necessary. When it comes to economic and financial sanctions, we want to remain flexible and mobilized.”Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Finance
German finance minister wants to prevent misuse of cryptos
At the same conference, Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner echoed the words of his French counterpart, specifically citing cryptocurrencies as a loophole to control/block Russian leaders and institutions.
“We will intensify the pressure if the Russian leadership does not change course (…) We should also take measures to prevent listed individuals and institutions from switching to unregulated crypto-assets.”Christian Lindner, German Finance Minister
It was also at the end of the meeting on March 2 that the 27 EU finance ministers announced the cutting of the SWIFT centralized transfer network for 7 major Russian banks.
Despite the significance of the economic sanctions against Russia, there is a good chance that the use of cryptos to circumvent them is highly exaggerated, if not outright fantasized. Indeed, the economy of Vladimir Putin’s country has been turning to Asia and China for several years, and the latter is getting back almost everything that is blocked on the European side (gas, grain, financial transactions…).