The US Treasury has placed a Russian Bitcoin (BTC) miner on its sanctions list. It is the first time that a cryptocurrency miner has dealt with sanctions from the United States.
Bitcoin miner BitRiver faces penalties
The US Department has a so-called BitRiver Specially Designated Citizens (SDN) List put. This is a list of individuals and companies barred from entering the United States. Companies and individuals are generally not allowed to deal with the names on this list.
More recently this also includes BitRiver. In addition, 10 BitRiver affiliates have been added to the list. According to a statement issued by the ministry that in hands From The Block, the miner is listed because he can easily convert Russian energy resources into money:
“By operating massive server farms that sell cryptocurrency mining capacity internationally, these companies are helping Russia invest its natural resources.” […] The United States is committed to ensuring that no assets, no matter how complex, turn into a mechanism for the Putin regime to offset the impact of sanctions.”
A setback for Putin?
Now that Russia faces far-reaching sanctions as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, the country will likely be looking for ways to keep its economy going. One option seems to be cryptocurrency mining for some time now.
At the end of March, the Russian Deputy Energy Minister had already proposed legalizing cryptocurrency mining. “If we want to continue this activity in some way, and we have no other options in the current reality, we need to introduce legal regulation and add the concept of mining to the regulatory framework,” said the deputy minister.
It is not known on what scale Russia is now mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, for example, to turn gas into value.
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