Ripple CEO: cryptos cannot be used by Russia to evade sanctions

The Ripple CEO explains that cryptos are not Silk Road

Ripple crypto currency home page                                 
Ripple crypto currency home page - Photo:Alamy

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple Labs, the company behind the Ripple payment protocol and XRP token, has explained why cryptos cannot be used by Russia to circumvent the sanctions that have been placed on the country.

The US, UK, Canada and the European Union (EU) have all placed sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. As well as, major Russian banks being blocked from using SWIFT, the international payment system.

Via Twitter, Garlinghouse clarified the use of cryptos during the Russian aggression, as he sees “asinine arguments from uninformed pundits on how crypto works.”

The CEO stated there are “factual reasons why crypto can’t be used on the broad scale for Russia to evade sanctions.”

The OFAC list

Garlinghouse explained that, in order to convert crypto to fiat currencies, “crypto exchanges rely on banking partners who could lose their licence if someone on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list is able to slip through.”

The Ripple CEO added: “extremely stringent Know your customer (KYC)/Anti-money laundering (AML) policies are in place to avoid precisely this.”

Ripple has always and will continue to be committed to not working with sanctioned banks or countries, according to Garlinghouse, as Ripple and its customers “support and enforce OFAC laws and KYC/AML.” 

Crypto is not the Silk Road

The Ripple CEO lambasted people who “paint crypto as the Silk Road – both an exceptionally outdated and tired argument which simply doesn’t hold true today.”

Silk Road was a digital black-market platform that was popular for hosting money laundering activities and illegal drug transactions, primarily using bitcoin (BTC) for payment. It was regarded as the first darknet market and was shut down by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2013.

Garlinghouse said to listen to “responsible players” who have made it clear they will “abide by legal sanctions.”

The CEO ended his Twitter thread by saying “rant over.”  

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