EU confirms crypto will be included in Russia sanctions as 'transferrable securities'

The European Commission confirmed on Wednesday it would extend the remit of its sanctions against Russia and Belarus in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, adding details on the classification of cryptoassets.

In a statement published on its website, the bloc said that cryptoassets fall under the scope of "transferable securities," a classification which is not in the draft EU regulation on cryptoassets. These regulations, known as MiCA, are due for a key committee vote next week following delays last week.

The statement also confirmed the common understanding that loans and credit can be provided by any means, including cryptoassets. 

Last week, EU finance ministers and other officials discussed the move via video link, as concern grew that crypto could be used as a backdoor for moving money in and out of Russia. At the time, many large crypto businesses pledged to honor the sanctions while resisting calls for blanket bans

In recent weeks, companies ranging from Revolut to PayPal and Google have shut off Russian users.

The resistance among crypto exchanges speaks to one underpinning ethos of the crypto space: advocacy for open financial system access.

About Author

Lucy is the NFT, gaming and metaverse editor at The Block. Prior to joining, she worked as a freelancer, with bylines in Wired, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.