The Japanese authorities reportedly urged local cryptocurrency platforms to stop facilitating digital asset transactions subject to sanctions against Russia and Belarus. The Asian nation is among the superpowers that imposed financial penalties on the largest country by landmass. Previously, Japan froze the assets of nearly 50 Russian and Belarusian oligarchs alleged to be part of Putin’s inner circle.
Japan’s Way to Oppose the War
Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine prompted many countries to declare economic war on Putin’s regime. The USA and the EU members have been the most active as some of the sanctions included expelling Russia’s major banks from the payment system SWIFT and blocking the accounts of several Russian oligarchs.
Cutting the country from the global monetary network resulted in the ruble’s crash. As such, many argued that Russia might turn its focus towards cryptocurrencies and employ the asset class as an escape hatch.
According to a recent coverage by Reuters, Japan seeks to eliminate this option urging the local digital asset exchanges not to process transactions of Russian and Belarussian users who have some relation to the war in Ukraine.
“We decided to make an announcement to keep the G7 momentum alive. The sooner, the better,” a Senior Official at Japan’s Financial Services Agency said.
The FSA and the Ministry of Finance reassured that Japan will strengthen its measures against transferring funds using cryptocurrencies that would violate the sanctions. Individuals who do not abide by the rules are subject to punishment of up to three years in prison and a one million yen ($8,500) fine.
Initially, Japan restricted payments to six Russian individuals (including Vladimir Putin) and three designated banks. Shortly after, the Asian country blocked exports and settlements to 49 Russian and Belarussian people.
Thailand Seeking to Help Russians
One of the few nations not imposing sanctions on Russia and even trying to aid the financial struggles of its citizens is Thailand.
Last week, the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) said they could offer alternative cryptocurrency settlement options to Russian tourists. The institutions further disclosed that Thai businesses could start interacting with the Russian payment system Mir and utilize proceedings between each other.
Currently, there are thousands of Russian and Ukrainian visitors in Phuket. A significant number of travelers from both nations are also located in Krabi, Koh Samui, and Pattaya.