WASHINGTON (Realist English). The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against Russian cryptocurrency miners, CNBC reports.
“By managing huge server farms that provide the capacity to mine virtual currency internationally, these companies are helping Russia to monetize its natural resources. Russia has a comparative advantage in mining cryptocurrencies due to energy resources and a cold climate. However, mining companies rely on imported computer equipment and fiat payments, which makes them vulnerable to sanctions.” said Brian Nelson, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
As part of the latest round of sanctions, the US Treasury announced the introduction of restrictive measures against companies operating in the Russian cryptocurrency mining industry.
The United States views cryptocurrency mining revenues as a potential threat to the effectiveness of its sanctions regime. Among the companies subject to US sanctions is BitRiver, which was founded in 2017 and, as the name suggests, manages its mining farms using hydroelectric power, the company employs more than 200 employees in three offices throughout Russia.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control has singled out 10 Russia-based subsidiaries of BitRiver in its most recent raft of sanctions on businesses and individuals helping Russia soften the blow of economic penalties.
“These US actions should obviously be viewed as interference in the crypto mining industry, unfair competition and an attempt to change the global balance of power in favor of American companies.” said BitRiver founder and CEO Igor Runets, adding that the company “has never provided services to Russian government institutions and has not worked with customers already targeted by Washington’s sanctions.”