Japanese authorities ordered crypto exchanges on Monday not to process transactions involving crypto assets subject to asset-freeze sanctions against Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine.
The step was taken after a Group of Seven (G7) statement on Friday that said Western nations “will impose costs on illicit Russian actors using digital assets to enhance and transfer their wealth.”
There are growing concerns among G7 advanced economies that cryptocurrencies are being used by Russian entities as a loophole for financial sanctions imposed upon the country for invading Ukraine.
The US Treasury Department issued new guidance on Friday that required US-based cryptocurrency firms not to engage in transactions with sanction targets.
“We decided to make an announcement to keep the G7 momentum alive,” said a senior official at Japan’s Financial Services Agency. “The sooner the better.”