• Russian Anti-Money Laundering regulator, Rosfinmonitoring, is monitoring over 25,000 crypto users
• The agency has identified 10 financial organizations that are allegedly assisting these participants in illegal activities
• The agency has conducted around 120 investigations and 60 criminal prosecutions related to cryptocurrencies
Russian AML Regulator Monitoring Crypto Users
The top Russian anti-money laundering regulator, Rosfinmonitoring, says it is „monitoring“ over 25,000 crypto users – and claims it has sophisticated tools that let it detect illegal activities. Yury Chikhanchin, the head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), recently held a meeting with President Vladimir Putin to discuss the organization’s efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
Crypto Use Growing in Russia
Chikhanchin was quoted as stating that „unfortunately,“ the „volume of use“ of „cryptocurrencies“ was „growing“ in Russia. Rosfinmonitoring believes cryptoassets are being used as a money laundering tool in many instances with a turnover of over 630,000 Bitcoin (BTC).
Tools for Detection
Rosfinmonitoring has advanced blockchain analytics software which helps them increase their monitoring capabilities. In 2020, the body began using a de-anonymizing solution in conjunction with VTB Bank which initially allowed them to monitor transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain protocol. They have since expanded the capabilities of this software so they can now monitor other blockchain networks such as Ethereum and Litecoin.
Criminal Prosecutions Related to Crypto
The regulatory chief noted that testing with the same tool was now „underway“ at other government organs such as Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Security Service and Investigative Committee. Chikhanchin said Rosfinmonitoring had conducted around 120 investigations which had led to more than 60 criminal prosecutions related to cryptocurrencies.
Vladimir Putin Meeting on Crypto
Earlier this week some leaders from Russia’s cryptoasset and blockchain industry met President Vladimir Putin to discuss regulation for digital currencies and assets within their country.