U.S. Treasury sanctions Russian cryptocurrency mining companies

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has introduced a brand new package deal of sanctions focusing on events that facilitate evasion of earlier measures imposed on Russia.

Among the sanction-bypassing mechanisms recognized and blocked, the announcement names company entities partaking in large-scale cryptocurrency mining in Russia.

The reasoning behind this motion is that these mining farms assist Russia monetize its huge pure vitality sources, giving the sanctioned nation a secure supply of monetary earnings.

Moreover, when the low vitality prices are mixed with Russia’s chilly local weather, the nation turns into supreme for coin mining, having an “unfair benefit” over different markets.

According to data in 2021 from the University of Cambridge, Russia accounted for 11.23% of the worldwide Bitcoin hash charge share, making it the third-largest miner on the earth after the U.S. and Kazakhstan.

BitRiver and subsidiaries hit

The most notable crypto-mining agency hit by the newest package deal of U.S. sanctions is BitRiver, based in Russia in 2017 by Igor Runets, the agency’s present CEO. 

Runets can also be the Vice President of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain and the Chairman of Mining within the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.

Although the agency moved all its authorized possession belongings to Switzerland in 2021, it is nonetheless operated from three places of work in Russia, and its mining farms are situated throughout the nation.

The Swiss holding firm, Bitriver AG, additionally owns or controls one other 10 subsidiaries, specifically:

  • Management Company Bitriver
  • Bitriver Rus
  • Everest Grup
  • Siberskie Mineraly
  • Tuvaasbest
  • Torgovy Dom Asbest
  • Bitriver-B
  • Bitriver-Ok
  • Bitriver-North
  • Bitriver-Turma

All ten entities have been included in the latest sanctions package, so that they won’t be able to behave as various channels to evade sanctions.

BleepingComputer has requested BitRiver for a remark and acquired the next assertion from the corporate CEO, Igor Runets, who says that the sancctions are supposed to tilt the stability in the direction of operations within the U.S.:

On Wednesday, April 20, the US Treasury Department’s sanctions record included a personal firm, BitRiver, which has by no means supplied providers to Russian authorities establishments and has not labored with prospects already focused by Washington’s sanctions.

These US actions ought to clearly be considered as interference within the crypto mining trade, unfair competitors and an try to vary the worldwide stability of energy in favor of American companies.

BitRiver, as one of many greatest knowledge middle operators in Eurasia, will proceed to broaden and implement funding tasks in Russian areas which can be optimally fitted to the operation of energy-intensive gear.

Sanctions implications

The mining farms could proceed to function in Russia, however they won’t be able to legally supply {hardware} from western companies, which ought to cripple their exercise in time.

Moreover, monetary transactions or investments from U.S. people with the sanctioned entities will likely be prohibited.

While solely BitRiver and its ten subsidiaries have been restricted this time, this transfer marks the start of a number of rounds of restrictions anticipated to focus on mining corporations in Russia.

As such, the cryptocurrency mining operations in Russia are more likely to lower step by step as the sensible and enterprise obstacles will far outweigh the financial advantages.


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About the Author: Daniel