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US Treasury Sanctions Money Launderer Using Virtual Currency To Move Funds For Russian Elites

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Today’s Cryptocurrency Headline

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned a Russian national for her role in laundering and moving money for Russian elites using virtual currency.Sanctions were imposed on Ekaterina Zhdanova on Friday as part of a crackdown on Russian states, elites and others using virtual currency to offset the effect of international sanctions, according to a statement. “We remain focused on safeguarding the U.S. and international financial system against those who seek to exploit this technology, among other illicit finance risks in the virtual assets ecosystem,” said Brian E. Nelson, under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. Officials say Zhdanova helped a client in Russia obscure their wealth to then transfer over $2.3 million into Western Europe through fraudulently opening investment accounts and real estate purchases. “This type of illicit financial activity can be used to evade the multilateral U.S. and international sanctions that impose costs on Russia for its unprovoked war and deny the access of sanctioned Russian individuals and entities to the international financial system,” Treasury said. 

BingX’s Bitcoin Chart

Source: TradingView & BingX

Bitcoin futures open interest at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) hit an all-time high of $3.65 billion on Nov. 1. This metric considers the value of every contract in play for the remaining calendar months, where buyers (longs) and sellers (shorts) are continually matched. In neutral markets, the annualised premium typically falls within the 5%–10% range. However, the latest 15% premium for CME Bitcoin futures stands out, indicating a strong demand for long positions. This also raises concerns, as some may be relying on the approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.Contradicting the bullish sentiment from CME futures, evidence from Bitcoin options markets reveals a growing demand for protective put options. For instance, the put-to-call open interest ratio at the Deribit exchange reached its highest levels in over six months.The current 1.0 level signifies a balanced open interest between call (buy) and put (sell) options. However, this indicator requires further analysis, as investors could have sold the call option, gaining positive exposure to Bitcoin above a specific price.The support level is at $34,200 and the resistance level is at $35,100.

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