Virtual Currency

Governor Hochul Announces Actions to Strengthen Department of Financial Services Enforcement of Sanctions Against Russia

Governor Hochul Announces Actions to Strengthen Department of Financial Services Enforcement of Sanctions Against Russia

Measures Include Expedited Procurement of Blockchain Analytics Tools

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced actions to strengthen the Department of Financial Services' (DFS) enforcement of sanctions against Russia, including the expedited procurement of additional blockchain analytics technology. These tools will bolster the Department of Financial Services ability to detect exposure among DFS-licensed virtual currency businesses to Russian individuals, banks and other entities that the Biden Administration has sanctioned.

As part of DFS's work to become a leading, data-driven regulator of the global financial services sector, the Department has been assessing a number of technology tools and service providers to augment current supervisory capabilities. Accelerating the procurement process is a critical step to strengthen the Department's ability to enforce anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act laws in this immediate crisis and beyond.

"Like millions across the globe, New Yorkers are watching the situation in Ukraine with fear and outrage, and in response we are taking further action," Governor Hochul said. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine and will continue to do our part to enforce U.S. sanctions against Russia in response to their unwarranted attack. New York is proudly home to the nation's largest Ukrainian population and we will use our technological assets to protect our people and show Russia that we will hold them accountable."

Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris said, "We know that bad actors will try to evade sanctions through the transmission of virtual currency, which is why it is imperative that we have the ability to monitor transactions and exposure in real-time. We continue to coordinate closely with federal and other state regulators and communicate with our regulated entities to ensure the full weight of our regulatory regime is brought to bear in the fight to protect Ukraine."

Leveraging purpose-built technologies and service providers for virtual currency protects the financial system from illicit activity including money laundering, terrorist financing and ransomware activity.

This action follows Governor Hochul's Executive Order directing all New York State agencies and authorities to review and divest public funds from Russia following Russia's unjustified and unprovoked attack on Ukraine. The Governor has also pledged to work with the Biden Administration to support refugees of the crisis and welcome them to the state, and has condemned the Russian acts of unjustified violence to the Ukrainian people.

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