This may increase the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions, a high-ranking U.S. administration official said.

The U.S. President Joe Biden will sign a decree on Wednesday on the development of new regulations in the country in the use of cryptocurrencies, Washington, in particular, expects that this will increase the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions. This was announced by a high-ranking representative of the US administration at a special briefing for journalists.

It is noted that this measure is aimed at coordinating “an integrated state approach to eliminating risks and the potential use of the advantages of digital assets and underlying technologies.” According to the decree, U.S. agencies must provide recommendations on mitigating risks for consumers, investors, and entrepreneurs associated with the “growth of the digital asset sector.” In addition, regulatory authorities should ensure proper supervision in this area.

At the briefing, it was clarified that these measures, in particular, should help prevent situations when hackers using ransomware viruses manage to get a ransom in cryptocurrency. “The administration will also continue to actively combat the abuse of cryptocurrency, including its use to circumvent U.S. sanctions. This applies equally to the crisis concerning Russia and Ukraine, and to any country, regime, forces unrelated to the state that seek to undermine the national security of the United States,” the representative of the U.S. administration said. As he added, the American side does not consider “the use of cryptocurrencies a viable method for Russia to circumvent <…> financial sanctions.”

“The lack of sufficient supervision may also enable criminals or other entities engaged in malicious activities to use cryptocurrency to launder funds obtained illegally, or to circumvent properly imposed sanctions,” said a representative of the U.S. administration. At the same time, according to him, “the use of digital assets can provide opportunities in terms of American innovation and competitiveness.” The briefing noted that work on the decree was carried out “for many months.”

The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday that Washington and its allies in Europe are exploring options to restrict Russia’s access to cryptocurrency.