US Treasury Sanctions Russian Bitcoin Miners

  • The US Treasury is enforcing sanctions against bitcoin mining in Russia.
  • The sanctions are intended to impede individuals’ ability to receive fiat payments, as well as hardware by putting pressure on the supply chain and payment processors.
  • According to the University of Cambridge, Russia is the third largest country in the world for bitcoin mining.”

The United States Treasury Department issued a press release today announcing new sanctions targeting bitcoin mining in Russia for their ongoing war in Ukraine, as they are the third largest bitcoin miner in the world according to Cambridge University.

The Treasury Department said reliance on fiduciary payments and the import of computer equipment makes Russia vulnerable to sanctions if the United States tries to obstruct companies providing these services.

Since government entities cannot stop the actual bitcoin mining process, the US Treasury decided to use other attack vectors that weaken the supply chain.

“Treasury can and will target those who evade, attempt to evade, or help evade U.S. sanctions on Russia because they help support Putin’s brutal war of choice,” said Undersecretary Brian Nelson. terrorism and financial intelligence. “The United States will work to ensure that the sanctions we have imposed, in close coordination with our international partners, degrade the Kremlin’s ability to project power and finance its invasion.”

One bitcoin mining company in particular, Bitriver, was discussed in detail in the press release. Founded in 2017, Bitriver has three offices scattered across Russia. Legal ownership was changed to a Swiss-based holding company in 2021. This company was designated as operating in the “Russian Federation economy”, making it and its ten Russian-based subsidiaries liable to sanctions .

In January, Vladimir Putin said that Russia has distinct advantages when it comes to bitcoin mining in terms of the excess energy and climatic conditions provided to it. The US Treasury agrees with the Russian President, stating that “Russia has a comparative advantage in crypto mining due to energy resources and a cold climate.”