The document, in particular, recommends using geolocation to block access to operations prohibited by Washington from countries under U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. Treasury Department published instructions on Friday for cryptocurrency market participants regarding their compliance with U.S. sanctions. The document posted on the agency’s website, in particular, recommends using geolocation to block access to operations prohibited by Washington from countries under U.S. sanctions.

“The obligation to comply with the sanctions of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) applies equally to transactions with virtual currencies and transactions with traditional currencies of central banks. Participants in the virtual currency sector are responsible for ensuring that they do not participate directly or indirectly in transactions prohibited by OFAC sanctions,” the text says. A separate written statement issued by the Ministry of Finance also emphasizes that “administrative and criminal liability” is provided for non-compliance with the requirements of the American authorities.

The text of the instruction itself notes, among other things, that companies engaged in cryptocurrencies “should be able to use geolocation tools to identify IP addresses and prevent those based in jurisdictions under sanctions from accessing the company’s website and services to carry out activities that OFAC prohibits.”

The Ministry of Finance, in its statement, notes that market participants should apply the recommendations of the department. Ignoring them, as the U.S. authorities emphasize, “may lead to violations of the [sanctions regime] and subsequent coercive measures [by the U.S. authorities], as well as harm the interests of U.S. foreign policy and national security.”