The United States Treasury Office has added a Russian crypto mining firm, Bitriver, to its list of sanctioned financial organizations. The Wednesday inclusion marks the first incidence where the United States would target the country’s cryptocurrency industry.
The US list of sanctioned financial organizations mostly included major banks. However, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) says it includes cryptocurrency mining firms because of their potential to assist the country in avoiding economic sanctions.
Speaking further on their reason for including Bitriver in its list, OFAC says Russia’s crypto mining industry holds a “comparative advantage.” It also says that the country’s energy base and favorable cold year-round weather favor minting operations.
However, the OFAC identified the need to import computers and reliance on the legal tender as vulnerability points that sanctions could freely exploit. The reports say that Bitriver and some ten tributaries of the organization have been assisting the country in circumventing penalties and would have difficulty gaining access to its funds.
Implications of Bitriver’s Addition
The global cryptocurrency industry has yet to witness the impact of the addition of the Russian mining company to the OFAC’s list. Here are some of the expected implications of the addition to the firm.
There will be no transactions whatsoever between any individual or entity in the US and Bitriver, except under a special license from the OFAC. Additionally, all properties of Bitriver under the control of the US are frozen, and the OFAC must receive an account of such assets.
Also, the sanctions mean that the OFAC would freeze all assets where Bitriver owns up to a 50% stake. However, we wait to see whether the OFAC’s sanction would significantly impact Bitriver’s operations. But the move indicates a milestone in US’s economic crackdown on Russia.
Binance Says it Will Restrict Its Operations in Russia over EU Sanctions.
Speaking about sanctions against Russia, Binance announces to take on the implications of significant restrictions on Russian crypto owners in line with EU’s sanctions. The Thursday announcement shows that the new restrictions would affect Russian citizens or residents who own more than 10,800 USD in virtual assets on the exchange.
Binance says restricted wallets won’t be able to buy, sell, or save on the exchange’s e-wallets. Moreover, the announcement informs restricted accounts that they have a maximum of 90 days to prepare for the ban.
Binance’s sanctions will not impact accounts that hold less than 10,800 USD. Binance emphasized that the ban also affected account holders worldwide who it verifies as being of Russian nationality.
Earlier, Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, had said that cryptocurrency trading platforms should abide by the same sanctions that affect conventional financial institutions concerning Russia. After the exchange announced the developments, the executive said he expects other big trading platforms to follow Binance’s position.
The European Union had reportedly concluded the fifth stream of sanctions against Russia earlier this month. The sanctions, which intend to make Russia stop its violent activities in Ukraine, included a restriction against offering high-profile cryptocurrency-related services to Russia.