Blockchain as a sanction-evading mechanism? Crypto to tackle U.S. financial dominance? That is the scenario painted by a recently published report.
The entity behind the research and analysis piece is The American Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (AFDD), a research institute which defines its mission as taking part in research and analysis to provide policy options, for “strengthening U.S. national security and reducing or eliminating threats posed by adversaries and enemies of the United States and other free nations”.
One of the main concerns listed in the AFDD´s report are Venezuela´s Petro, which is described as a fiasco, although it is also taken into account as a case study for other regimes on what not to do when deploying their own blockchains.
With regards to Russia, the option of a crypto-ruble is considered a faraway one, although the report does acknowledges that Russian institutions are involved in launching blockchain solutions, and that the country is seeking for payment systems that can be used out of the SWIFT system with countries on their political orbit.
The sanctions against Iran are mentioned as a trigger for its speeding blockchain adopotion, with Russia´s aid. The middle Eastern country is considered to be specially interested in finding a way to circumvent SWIFT.
Finally, China is mentioned as well in the report, although the motivation for its entry into the blockchain race is considered to be different from avoiding sanctions. Instead, the AFDD considers that the country is focused on displacing U.S. influence in the global financial system. It is mentioned as the state with the largest game-changing potential of the group.