BitRiver, a bitcoin mining company operating in Russia, has been listed by the U.S. Treasury Department Blacklist of sanctioned companies.
Sanctions against Russia also affect Bitcoin mining
The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has included BitRiver in its list Sanctioned companies.
In the Official press release We read that the US Treasury is trying to identify those companies and citizens who facilitate sanctions circumvention and among those in particular their interest in financial and operational support networks for attempts to evade them.
For this reason, they added new entities and individuals to the list of topics to be closely monitored, including the Russian Commercial Bank, Transkapitalbank, a global network of more than 40 people and organizations led by the Russian oligarch. Konstantin Malofeyev.
They also included in this list also companies operating in the cryptocurrency mining sector, considering that Russia is the third country in the world with the largest capacity in this sense. This is the first time that the US Treasury has entered one Blacklisted crypto mining company.
In particular, BitRiver operates large mining farms internationally and, according to the US Treasury, helps Russia monetize its natural resources. The country has large, low-cost energy resources and Cool climate ideal for mining.
Sanctions will relate, for example, to the import of IT equipment and payments in fiat currency.
The Treasury writes:
“The United States is committed to ensuring that no resource, no matter how complex, becomes a mechanism for the Putin regime to offset the impact of sanctions.”
Bitriver was founded in Russia in 2017 and currently has three offices in the country. But last year, it moved its registered office to Switzerland, and it is possible that from here it can organize and manage international transactions that allow it to circumvent sanctions.
The US Treasury on the attack
The Office of Foreign Assets Control has also been blacklisted 10 Subsidiaries of Bitriver AGManagement Company: Bitriver, Bitriver Rus, Everest Grup, Siberskie Mineraly, Tuvaasbest, Torgovy Dom Asbest, Bitriver-B, Bitriver-K, Bitriver-North, Bitriver-Turma.
As far as is known, these are the only companies in crypto mining They have been blacklisted by the United States of persons subject to anti-Russian sanctions.
It should be noted that the International Monetary Fund has published these days Relationship Where there is an increase in the use of cryptocurrencies in emerging markets, with increased trading volumes precisely After imposing sanctions on Russia.
In particular, the report shows how USDT trading volumes in rubles or Ukrainian hryvnia increased significantly in March, perhaps because it is easier to trade capital freely, also and above all internationally, using stablecoins instead of traditional fiat currencies.
It also refers to the concept expressed by him US Treasury Departmentor that crypto mining allows Russia’s energy resources to be monetized “outside the financial system”.
However, it also states that the share of crypto mining in sanctioned countries is relatively low. The global cryptocurrency mining market is estimated at around $1.4 billion annually, with Russian miners having 11% (0.15 billion) and Iranian miners only 3% (0.04 billion).
In view of this, other initiatives similar to the US Treasury can be expected, but It is not likely to be far-reaching.