Global Business Law Review - Intl. Law Students Association Symposium: Blacklisted Countries’ Use of Cryptocurrency to Circumvent International Sanctions

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: 1801 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 (Moot Court Room)

Sponsored by Cleveland-Marshall College of Law’s Global Business Law Review and International Law Students Association, Cleveland State University.

Reception: 6:00-7:00pm
Panel: 7:00-8:30pm

Government officials in countries that have become the target of U.S. economic sanctions have publicly acknowledged that they support the use of cryptocurrency to circumvent reliance on the U.S. dollar, primarily to regain access to the international markets from which they have been blacklisted. The anonymity offered by cryptocurrencies such as the Venezuelan petro and Russian cryptoruble makes it difficult to identify violators and enforce regulations. In response, the U.S.’s banking enforcement agency, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), has begun focusing on exchanges to increase transparency in international transactions, which may help identify violators but also raises security concerns.

Panelists will discuss, inter alia, the following questions: (1) What is cryptocurrency, and how does it operate? (2) How are blacklisted countries using cryptocurrency to circumvent international sanctions? (3) What financial and/or criminal penalties do traders and investors face for direct or indirect violations of U.S. sanctions? (4) What regulatory changes is the OFAC considering to identify and block transactions with sanctioned countries? (5) How will these regulatory changes affect risk-assessment for investors and financial institutions, and with what impact on cryptocurrency markets, such as the market for bitcoin, and the larger stock market?  


  • Richard Gordon, Case Western Reserve University Director of the Financial Integrity Institute; Associate Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center; Professor of Law; former Senior Counsel at the International Monetary Fund.
  • Denny Murphy, Senior Manager at Skoda Minotti, Business Advisory Firm with offices in Cleveland; Certified Public Accountant concentrating in accounting and audit, as well as cost segregation studies.
  • Daniel Riedl, Assistant United States Attorney in the National Security and Cyber Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Franklin County, Ohio, and former Special Prosecutor for the Ohio Attorney General's Office. 
  • Mark Sniderman, Case Western Reserve University Professor of Economics, with a focus on macroeconomics and financial regulation; former Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

CLE credit: 1.5 free hours

Category: Alumni, CLE Programs, Faculty, General, Public Lectures, Student

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