The U.S. Treasury Department's guidelines equate cryptocurrency transactions with "deceptive or structured transactions or transactions" that seek to evade U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. Treasury Department and the White House reportedly warned U.S. companies and individuals not to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions sent to certain Russian nationals and banks.

U.S. residents are prohibited from using digital currencies to benefit the Russian government, including the country's central bank, to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Russia, according to the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is scheduled to take effect March 1. Invasion of Ukraine. The guidance equates cryptocurrency transactions with "deceptive or structured transactions or transactions" that seek to evade sanctions.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the department's actions are designed to "significantly limit[ing] Russia's ability to use assets to fund its destabilizing activities, as well as target[ing] Putin and his inner circle's reliance on funds to invade Ukraine." The additional actions against Russian entities were authorized under Executive Order 14024, which allows the Treasury Department to impose sanctions based on "harmful foreign activities, including violations of generally accepted principles of international law," officials said.

Today, the U.S. and our allies and partners are preventing Putin from using his war funds to cushion the blow of our sanctions and to fund his invasion of Ukraine. https://t.co/NtWvxpR28Z

– The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 28, 2022

On February 24, President Joe Biden announced that the United States and its allies would impose sanctions on five major Russian banks and several elite nationals who have "enriched themselves at the expense of the Russian state. As the Ukraine invasion continues, officials appear to be looking for other ways to financially deter the Russian government, with the European Commission saying Sunday that it plans to remove the country's sanctioned banks from the SWIFT cross-border payments network.

While cryptocurrencies have been cited as a possible means for Russia to evade sanctions, at least one Treasury official reportedly hinted that digital currencies are unlikely to derail international efforts. According to a Politico report Friday, an adviser to Deputy Treasury Secretary Todd Conklin said that if the Kremlin laundered large amounts of cryptocurrencies through exchanges, the market would observe "more of a spike than is actually the case. However, following Conklin's statement, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) did rise more than 11 percent in the last 24 hours to $41,624.

The White House has also asked cryptocurrency exchanges to prevent Russian individuals and businesses subject to sanctions by the U.S. and its allies from using digital assets to circumvent those restrictions, according to a Bloomberg report Monday. Officials reportedly said cryptocurrencies are not a substitute for the U.S. dollar in Russia, but authorities will try to crack down on any misuse of digital assets to avoid sanctions.

Related: Treasury Officials Admit Most Cryptocurrency Trading Is 'Legal,' But Still Expect Additional Sanctions

Cointelegraph reported on Monday that Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov urged cryptocurrency exchanges to block the addresses of Russian users. However, Cointelegraph said it would not "unilaterally freeze the accounts of millions of innocent users," while Kraken added that the exchange would not act "without legal requirements.