Public Key Podcast

[CHAINALYSIS PODCAST PREMIERE EPISODE] Can Russia Use Cryptocurrency to Evade Sanctions?

Today, we’re excited to launch the Chainalysis podcast: Public Key. Hosted by our CMO Ian Andrews, Public Key aims to be the go-to podcast at the intersection of cryptocurrency and compliance, with guests from around the industry, breakdowns of Chainalysis research, and more!

You can listen or subscribe now on Spotify, Apple, or Audible. Keep reading for a full preview of episode 1.

Public Key Episode 1 preview: Russia, cryptocurrency, and sanctions evasion

Russian oligarchs are the current topic of conversation when it comes to using cryptocurrency to evade significant sanctions imposed and adopted by global leaders. Could cryptocurrency be the way that illicit actors move their fortunes out of Russia without access to the SWIFT network?

Host Ian Andrews sits down for the inaugural Chainalysis podcast episode with colleagues Kim Grauer, (Director of Research, Chainalysis) and Salman Banaei (Head of Public Policy for North America, Chainalysis) to discuss the potential for Russia to evade sanctions with cryptocurrency, the ongoing ransomware efforts of Russian cybercriminal organizations, and more.

This panel uses a wealth of Chainalysis data highlighted in the 2022 Crypto Crime Report to shed some light on Moscow City as a hub for illicit activity and provides a detailed breakdown of the infrastructure connecting Russia to notorious ransomware organizations. They also highlight how law enforcement has been able to leverage the transparency of blockchains to respond to ransomware attacks, Russia’s move away from the U.S. dollar following recent sanctions, and the role of the digital yuan in the China-Russia relationship. The episode ends with discussion of Chainalysis’ recent launch of an on-chain oracle and API to help DeFi protocols and other cryptocurrency businesses comply with sanctions policies.

Quote of the episode

In contrast, you could imagine, sanctioning a Russian bank, you wouldn’t have nearly as much of an impact, as inbound transfers would still probably happen… As a policy tool sanctions are particularly effective in the cryptocurrency markets and the reason for this is the transparency of the blockchain.

– Salman Banaei, Head of Public Policy for North America, Chainalysis

Minute-by-minute episode breakdown

(0:46) – What Does The Head of Research At Chainalysis Do?

(2:43) – What Does The Head of Policy At Chainalysis Do?

(4:00) – US Lawmakers are accelerating activity in a sign that crypto is here to stay

(5:00) – The intersection of Russia, ransomware, malware and cryptocurrency

(10:15) – The collaboration of illicit ransomware organizations

(12:15) – How ransomware as a service operates as a legitimate yet illegal business model

(13:30) – How crypto money launderers are acting in broad daylight in Moscow City

(15:00) – Are companies prepared to prevent or react to a ransomware attack?

(16:00) – How the Colonial Pipeline ransomware payment was investigated by law enforcement

(18:00) – Why Russia won’t be able to evade sanctions using cryptocurrency at scale

(21:03) – How Russia is moving further away from settling in USD$ and moving towards Chinese Yuan

(23:15) – Why the digital Yuan is going to play a bigger role as an alternative payment rail for Russia

(24:39) – How proactive measures to sanction ransomware laundering exchanges out of Russia paved the way for crypto sanction monitoring

(26:00) – How cryptocurrency transaction monitoring is similar to die packs placed in bags of cash at the bank

(27:13) – The release of the Chainalysis on-chain oracle and API to detect sanctions exposure for smart contracts and DeFi protocols

Related resources

Want to learn more about Russia, sanctions, and cryptocurrency-based crime? Check out more resources from Chainalysis that perfectly complement this episode of the Public Key.

Blog: How FBI Investigators Traced DarkSide’s Funds Following the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack

Blog: Russian Cybercriminals Drive Significant Ransomware and Cryptocurrency-based Money Laundering Activity

Blog: Chainalysis Launches Free Sanctions Screening Tools

Blog: How Chainalysis Helps Compliance Teams Address Sanctions Red Flags

Research: The Chainalysis 2022 Crypto Crime Report

Speakers on today’s episode

On today’s episode, you’ll hear from:

Ian Andrews, Public Key host and Chief Marketing Officer, Chainalysis | LinkedIn | Twitter

Kimberly Grauer, Director of Research, Chainalysis | LinkedIn | Twitter

Salman Banaei, Head of Public Policy for North America, Chainalysis | LinkedIn | Twitter

This website contains links to third-party sites that are not under the control of Chainalysis, Inc. or its affiliates (collectively “Chainalysis”). Access to such information does not imply association with, endorsement of, approval of, or recommendation by Chainalysis of the site or its operators, and Chainalysis is not responsible for the products, services, or other content hosted therein.

Our podcasts are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to provide legal, tax, financial, or investment advice. Listeners should consult their own advisors before making these types of decisions. Chainalysis has no responsibility or liability for any decision made or any other acts or omissions in connection with your use of this material.

Chainalysis does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of the information in any particular podcast and will not be responsible for any claim attributable to errors, omissions, or other inaccuracies of any part of such material.

Unless stated otherwise, reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Chainalysis. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by Chainalysis employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the views of the company.