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Russia overestimates to bypass sanctions using crypto

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Christopher Wray cited the FBI’s recent work seizing large amounts of cryptocurrency as evidence of flaws in using digital assets to circumvent sanctions. The Federal Bureau of Investigation director, Christopher Wray, stated that given the United States’ ability to thwart crypto-based efforts, fiat was a more likely avenue for Russia to pursue to circumvent sanctions.

Director Wray stated that the FBI and its partners had “developed significant expertise” in digital assets, citing the department’s recent work in seizing large amounts of tokens as evidence of vulnerabilities in using crypto to circumvent sanctions.

Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had most likely anticipated sanctions due to his actions against Ukraine and had amassed a reserve fund to mitigate the economic impact. However, she claimed that the US Treasury Department and other foreign governments acting to sanction Russia had made accessing the funds difficult.

Following Russia’s military actions on February 24, the US and governments throughout the European Union announced sanctions aimed at financially harming the country. Many agencies and departments, including the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the European Commission, have stated that they will investigate the possibility of Russia using digital currency to circumvent sanctions. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, which mentioned the risks of circumventing sanctions.

Since January 22, Bitcoin has been rising above an ascending support line. The line has been validated seven times (green icons), most recently on March 11. BTC was on the verge of forming a bearish engulfing candlestick between March 9-10 but instead created a small lower wick instead of closing below $38,600.

BTC appears to be in the process of forming another lower wick, which can be interpreted as a sign of buying pressure.

Nonetheless, each time a support line is touched, it becomes weaker. As a result, a break in the line appears to be the most likely scenario.

According to the two-hour chart, BTC deviated above a descending resistance line (red icon) on March 9 before falling back below it.

The resistance line is currently near $40,450, which also coincides with the 0.5 Fib retracement resistance level.

It is likely to act as solid resistance due to the convergence of these levels.

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