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US President Joe Biden issues new Executive Order on Digital Assets

US President Joe Biden issued a new Executive Order on Digital Assets on March 9th 2022, directing the US Department of Treasury (in consultation with several federal agencies) to investigate and report on the future of payment and money systems.

The new Executive Order follows recent efforts of US authorities to enforce US sanctions against Russia, imposing stricter scrutiny of attempts to bypass the restrictions of sanctions imposed on the RF. Pursuant to the mentioned efforts, on March 2nd 2022, the “Task Force KleptoCapture” was announced by the US Attorney General. This takes force is an interagency law enforcement body designated to enforcing sanctions against the RF. Its goals include studying sanctions violations, prosecuting those attempting to bypass anti-money laundry and know-your-customer measures, use asset forfeiture authorities to seize assets recognized as proceeds of illegal conduct or assets of sanctioned persons, and target attempts to use cryptocurrency to bypass sanctions.

A week later, on March 9th 2022, the FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) published an alert recommending financial institutions to exercise greater awareness for the purpose of detecting and preventing such attempts to bypass sanctions. The FinCEN indicated certain potential issues that may arise from such efforts of bypass by the use of cryptocurrency. One example includes the use of convertible virtual currency administrators or exchangers outside or within the RF. All these brought to the issuance of the new Executive Order on Digital Assets on March 9th 2022. More information on this new measure can be found here.