The US Government is considering adding digital currency addresses affiliated with individuals and entities identified to the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN List”). This would put US persons on notice that doing business with those digital addresses may be prohibited, increasing compliance considerations for businesses delving into the world of virtual currency.
As part of its continuing efforts to isolate North Korea from the world economy, on February 23, 2018, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced new sanctions measures targeting North Korea’s shipping industry and issued an advisory document entitled “North Korea Sanctions Advisory,” which highlights sanctions risks in the global shipping industry.
On September 29, 2017, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) amended and reissued Directive 1 and Directive 2 implementing US sectoral sanctions targeting Russia pursuant to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”). The maturity of prohibited “new debt” under Directive 1 will be reduced to 14 days (from 30 days) and the maturity of prohibited “new debt” under Directive 2 will be reduced to 60 days (from 90 days).
On June 29, 2017, the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued for public inspection a notice of proposed rulemaking (the “Proposed Rule”) that would restrict a Chinese commercial bank’s access to the US financial system based on a finding that the bank was involved in money laundering activities involving North Korea. This action coincided with designations by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of one entity and two individuals with alleged ties to North Korea.