TRM Labs Launches Free Screening Tool For Sanctioned Crypto Addresses, Including Russian Entities

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In the wake of an unprecedented wave of sanctions on Russia, a company has launched a new screening tool to help members of the crypto ecosystem who wish to be alerted when sanctioned crypto addresses are engaging with their platforms, including addresses linked to newly sanctioned Russian designated individuals and entities.

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The new free tool, launched by blockchain intelligence company TRM Labs, will enable users to navigate the fast-evolving regulatory landscape.

“This is truly an extraordinary moment for the world and for the nascent crypto economy. In the wake of unprecedented economic sanctions on Russia — including over 400 individuals just yesterday — it is more important than ever that financial institutions including cryptocurrency businesses remain vigilant,” Ari Redbord, a former senior advisor for the U.S. Treasury Department and now head of Legal and Government Affairs at TRM Labs, told GOBankingRates.

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Redbord added that while most large compliant exchanges already have robust compliance controls in place, “we wanted to ensure that every crypto business — no matter the size or stage of development — had access to state of the art tools to stop bad actors from co-opting the promise of cryptocurrency.”

The API-based tool provides a way for crypto platforms, including decentralized organizations and apps, to be alerted if an address engaging with their environment has been sanctioned by a legal authority such as the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). TRM said it is leveraging automated tools and a global team of subject matter experts, and monitors sanctions lists, adds sanctioned addresses to its database, and automatically alerts users of any sanctioned addresses interacting with their platforms.

If alerted, a crypto business will then engage in their own risk-based approach which usually means filing a report with its regulator, potentially alerting law enforcement and/or blocking or freezing a transaction if that is possible, Redbord explained.

Cryptocurrency businesses need to ensure that they protect against sanctions exposure to meet regulatory obligations and to stop sanctioned entities from co-opting the promise of this new financial system, Redbord said.

See: Find: Cybersecurity Stocks Could See Huge Growth as Russia-Ukraine War Spurs More Cyberattacks
Find: Biden to Announce US Crypto Strategy as Warning Issued on Russia Avoiding Sanctions with Digital Currencies

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“Crypto businesses today — from large centralized exchanges to emerging decentralized protocols — want to ensure that we are building a trust layer for this new economy,” he said. “In order to do that we wanted to ensure that every single crypto business had access to the best tools to help build that trust layer.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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