Ofac's crypto blacklist could drive investors to riskier exchanges

Author: Olly Jackson | Published: 6 Apr 2018

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control's (Ofac) decision to blacklist cryptocurrency addresses could backfire and drive investors to smaller, less transparent exchanges.

The agency's new March 19 guidance adding digital currencies to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN) in the same way as fiat currencies is intended to reduce money laundering and fraud. But this decision could lead investors to riskier exchanges. 

The SDN list includes individuals, groups and companies owned by targeted countries or acting on behalf of targeted countries, named specially designated nationals. Their assets are blocked and US persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them. The list also includes individuals, groups and entities designated under programmes that are not necessarily country-specific. This is widely expected have wide repercussions for exchanges and the cryptocurrency sector itself. Blackrock chief executive Larry Fink previously branded bitcoin an index of money laundering. 



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