On March 8, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order prohibiting the importation of Russian-origin oil, liquified natural gas, and coal into the United States and prohibiting US persons from making new investments in Russia’s energy sector. On March 9, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order directing US government agencies to study and report on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets and consider, among other things, the use of digital assets to circumvent US sanctions.
Continue Reading US Sanctions Target Russia’s Energy Sector and Ban Imports of Russian Oil, LNG, and Coal as Enforcement Efforts Increase and Agencies Consider Cryptocurrency and Other Digital Assets

On February 28, 2022, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued further sanctions on Russia’s Central Bank, National Wealth Fund, and Ministry of Finance, and announced regulations to implement Executive Order 14024 under the Russia Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Program. On February 24, 2022, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued an immediate final rule implementing sanctions under the Export Administration Regulations.
Continue Reading US Sanctions Tighten on Russia’s Financial Sector and Technology Imports

On 25 October 2021, the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the regulatory body of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), announced that it implemented a regulatory framework for investment tokens issued or traded within the DIFC, which follows from the Consultation Paper No. 138 (Regulation of Security Tokens) it issued earlier in March this year.
Continue Reading Dubai Financial Services Authority Recently Launched Its Framework for Regulating Digital Assets

On November 8, 2021, law enforcement agencies in both the United States and European Union announced that a series of actions, including a number of arrests, were taken against the Russia-linked ransomware group, “REvil.”
Continue Reading Russia-Linked REvil Hackers and Their Affiliates Hit with Arrests by the U.S. and International Allies

On November 1, 2021, the President’s Working Group released a long-awaited report on stablecoins. The Report outlines a number of significant legislative recommendations for Congress to consider as well as a number of interim measures that agencies should adopt under their existing authorities to protect against prudential risks in the near-term.
Continue Reading President’s Working Group Releases Report on Stablecoins

On September 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued an Updated Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments on the sanctions risks associated with facilitating ransomware payments. OFAC, with assistance from the FBI, also designated SUEX OTC, S.R.O., as a malicious cyber actor, the first such sanctions designation against a virtual currency exchange.
Continue Reading OFAC Designates Virtual Currency Exchange as Malicious Cyber Actor

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control settled with BitPay, Inc. for $507,375 to resolve 2,102 apparent violations of multiple US sanctions programs for allowing individuals located in sanctioned jurisdictions to use digital currency on its platform to transact with merchants in the United States and elsewhere.
Continue Reading OFAC Settles with Digital Currency Services Provider for Apparent Violations of Multiple Sanctions Programs