NYDFS looks to crypto tools to help enforce sanctions against Russia

New York is prioritizing the procurement of blockchain analytics tools to better enforce sanctions against Russia.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced actions today to bolster the ability of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to identify transactions between virtual currency businesses and sanctioned entities. 

Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne Harris said in a statement that the NYDFS is coordinating with other state and federal regulators and regulated crypto businesses to "ensure the full weight of our regulatory regime is brought to bear in the fight to protect Ukraine."

"We know that bad actors will try to evade sanctions through the transmission of virtual currency, which is why it is imperative that we have the ability to monitor transactions and exposure in real-time," said Harris. 

The office has already been assessing a number of blockchain analytics tools and service providers, but it now plans to fast track its contracting efforts, according to today's announcement.

This is a continuation of Hochul's efforts to support sanctions against Russia. The governor issued an executive order last weekend compelling state entities to divest funds from any institution determined to be a Russian or supporting entity. 

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Aislinn Keely joined The Block in the summer of 2019. She is a member of the outlet's policy team, holding down the legal beat. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV, where she reported and anchored newscasts in addition to some podcast work. Aislinn is a proud Fordham Ram and editor-in-chief emerita of its newspaper. When she isn't writing or reporting, Aislinn is running and rock climbing.