The U.S. Treasury Department announced in a new press release that it was taking action against companies in the Russian mining sector.
U.S. and Russian miners
Biriver AG is one of the crypto miner companies referenced in the OFAC announcement. It is a Swiss company with three offices in Russia and ten affiliated subsidiaries.
Interestingly, this is the first time the US Treasury has sanctioned this type of company. This also comes during the time when BitRiver is expected to launch the secondary market for its token (BTR).
In a report from the U.S. Treasury Department, BitRiver “operates huge mines” of cryptocurrencies. After mining, the digital currencies are then sold in international markets. The company is helping Russia “monetize its natural resources.” The authorities report that while Russia has energy resources, cryptocurrency mining companies rely on computer equipment imported from foreign countries and payment in fiat currencies which makes them vulnerable to sanctions.
The United States intends to ensure that no assets … become a mechanism for Putin’s regime to counterbalance the effect of sanctions.
Russia suffers another blow
In an interview with Forbes, Ari Redbord, former tax official and former federal prosecutor currently serving as head of legal and government affairs of TRM Labs, a blockchain analytics firm, talked about his career and his current role.
These sanctions are intended to punish Russia, change it’s behavior, and cut it off from the global financial system. The sanctions against BitRiver and companies related to cryptocurrency mining are intended to cut Russia off from the means of production.
A retired special agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, William Callahan is the Director of Government and Strategic Relations of the Blockchain Intelligence Group. He noted that cryptocurrency mining in Russia is based on imported computer equipment and foreign payment systems.