Christine Lagarde (CEB President) has asked lawmakers to approve a crypto regulatory framework. This is a hint at Russia’s ability to circumvent economic sanctions.
Lagarde, speaking to journalists at an informal meeting economics and finance minstators on Friday, said that the European Central Bank would “decisively” and “rigorously” implement the sanctions against Russia imposed in response to Ukraine’s invasion. The ECB president urged the implementation of a proposal for a digital asset regulatory framework to address a question about Russia possibly using crypto to evade certain measures.
Lagarde stated that whenever there is a ban, prohibition or mechanism to prohibit or boycott something, criminal means will always be used to get around it. “It is crucial that MiCA be passed as soon as possible to ensure we have a regulatory framework in which crypto assets can be captured.”
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. Source: YouTube
Markets in Crypto Assets (or MiCA) proposed the creation of “a regulatory framework to support innovation in the crypto-assets marketplace that draws on the potential crypto-assets in order to preserve financial stability and protect investors.” The proposal was first presented to the European Commission in Sept 2020. It was then adopted by the European Council in Nov 2021.
On Friday, however, Stefan Berge, the rapporteur, announced that he had delayed the vote due to concerns that it could be misinterpreted as a ban against proof-of-work cryptomining. As of the publication, the EU has not set a date for officials to vote on this framework.
The United States President Joe Biden announced on Thursday a set of sanctions that would impose “devastating cost” on Russia in response to its attack on Ukraine. The United States and its allies will impose sanctions against five Russian-based banks, as well as several elite Russian nationals, in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Related: The reaction of the crypto community to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Although the situation in Ukraine remains unclear, there are reports that Russia has bombed locations throughout the country. This includes a military airfield near Kyiv. As the crisis continues, members of the crypto community offer donations to the Ukrainian military as well as local organizations.