Resisting U.S. Sanctions with Cryptocurrency

shiny coins with bitcoin logoThe Foundation for Defense of Democracies has released a report titled Crypto Rogues: U.S. State Adversaries Seeking Blockchain Sanctions Resistance. The report examines how digital currency technology is used by foreign adversaries to try and offset economic sanctions. Specifically, the study focuses on the efforts made by Venezuela, Russia, Iran and China.

For Venezuela, the attempt to institute a sovereign cryptocurrency to circumvent U.S. sanctions was a failure, but it serves as a case study underlining what not to do for other regimes in the future. Russia now sees digital currency technology as a long-term solution to U.S. sanctions despite their lack of interest in that technology just years prior. For Iran, much of the motivation stems from the U.S. withdrawing from the nuclear deal, and they have found an ally in Russia as they work toward blockchain sanctions resistance. China is currently in the best position among U.S. adversaries to develop a digital currency infrastructure due to their technological advancements. Although not heavily impacted by U.S. sanctions, according to the report, China’s main motivation is to displace the U.S. dollar in the global financial system.

For more information on topics related to this piece, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Cyber Policy and Cyber Infrastructure Protection.

Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

Need help finding something?  Ask one of our librarians for assistance!