A brief history of US crypto sanctions

Quick Take

  • Last week’s sanctions on Tornado Cash have sent the crypto industry spinning. But many have lost the broader picture of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. 
  • The Block has assembled a timeline of OFAC sanctions on crypto wallets, settlements with crypto firms, and general guidance to crypto operators.
  • Broadly, OFAC has expanded its ability to sanction crypto actors and has rapidly increased the speed and bore with which it designates wallet addresses, but it has not hit that many wallet addresses overall. The office, while it wields theoretically broad powers, has limited resources. Consequently, each hit bears major significance for the Treasury’s subsequent policy direction. 

Blacklisting Blockchain: A brief history of OFAC in crypto

Dates assembled by the author from publicly available government documents and announcements. Graphics designed by Zoe Ellyse Del Rosario.

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