Cryptocurrencies Weaken Washington’s Economic Sanctions

Washington deems necessary modernize its economic and financial sanctions system, whose effectiveness is weakened by the development of cryptocurrencies, the US Treasury said on Monday.

"If sanctions remain an essential and effective political tool, they also face new challenges, particularly those growing risks linked to new payment systems, the growing use of digital assets and cybercriminals"the agency said in a press release.

The penalties taken by The Treasury seeks to prevent foreign persons or entities, accused for example of threatening US security or obstructing human rights in their own country, from accessing the banking system and American financier.

But "technological innovations such as digital currencies, alternative payment platforms, and new ways to hide cross-border transactions all potentially reduce the effectiveness of US sanctions", the Treasury, equivalent to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, details in its report.

"These technologies offer malevolent actors opportunities to own and transfer funds outside of the traditional financial system. based on the dollar", he specified.

"We are aware of the risk that, if not controlled, these digital assets and payment systems could affect the effectiveness of our sanctions."added the Treasury.

The United States has increasingly resorted to economic sanctions since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The number of sanctions multiplied by 10 in 20 years, according to the report, from 912 in 2000 to 9,421 in 2021.

A) Yes, "the US government must adapt and modernize the underlying operational architecture by which sanctions are deployed", highlights the Treasury, specifying that "When used effectively, sanctions have the ability to disrupt, deter, and impede actions that affect the national security of the United States.".

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"Sanctions are a fundamentally important tool in advancing our national security interests"Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in the statement.

"We are committed to working with partners and allies to modernize and strengthen this essential tool"added.


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