Crypto Miner BitRiver Sanctioned by US Over Russian Operations: Bloomberg

By Benzinga
Benzinga
Benzinga
April 23, 2022 Updated: April 23, 2022

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned crypto mining firm BitRiver, targeting one of the industry’s top data-center service providers over its operations in RussiaBloomberg reported.

The Swiss-based company BitRiver provides Bitcoin miners worldwide with energy sources, mining facilities, and large-scale management solutions, including those in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Treasury announced restrictions on BitRiver, including 10 of its Russia-based subsidiaries, as the war in Ukraine enters the third month.

The Treasury’s action comes just a day after the International Monetary Fund warned that cryptocurrency mining could provide a way for countries like Russia and Iran to avoid sanctions by diverting natural resources that they can’t export to energy-intensive mining operations like Bitcoin mining.

“By operating vast server farms that sell virtual currency mining capacity internationally, these companies help Russia monetize its natural resources,” the department stated. “However, mining companies rely on imported computer equipment and fiat payments, which makes them vulnerable to sanctions.”

According to the IMF, Bitcoin mining generated an average of $1.4 billion in revenue each month last year, with around 11 percent going to Russian miners.

The BitRiver sanctions could have far-reaching impacts beyond the Russian crypto mining industry, potentially redistributing and reducing computing power for Bitcoin mining worldwide, according to Roman Zabuga, chief marketing officer at Hamburg-based BWC, a data-center operator for crypto miners.

By Akanksha Bakshi

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