Moscow-based BitRiver was added to the Treasury department’s Specially Designated Nationals List.
Today, the U.S. government sanctioned a Russian Bitcoin miner. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control placed Moscow-based BitRiver onto its Specially Designated Nationals List.
The list also includes ten Russia-based subsidiaries BitRiver AG’s Switzerland-based holding firm BitRiver AG.
This is the first time that the U.S. has approved a cryptocurrency mining firm. These sanctions were issued in response to Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine.
A government statement released Wednesday said that the Treasury is also taking actions against Russian companies involved in virtual currency mining. These companies are helping Russia to monetize its natural resources by operating large server farms that export virtual currency mining capacity worldwide.
Due to its energy resources and cold climate, Russia has a competitive advantage in crypto mining. Mining companies are dependent on fiat payments and imported computer equipment, making them vulnerable to sanctions.
This announcement comes just a day after the International Monetary Fund warned that Russia might try to use crypto to avoid sanctions.
According to today’s Treasury statement “The United States” is committed to making sure that no asset, regardless of its complexity, becomes a mechanism for Putin to counter the effects of sanctions.