Russia’s $ 1 billion crypto market targeted by the U.S. to avoid sanctions

Russia’s $ 1 billion crypto market faces new scrutiny from the West in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in a warning that digital currencies are being used to circumvent economic sanctions ..

April 20th US Treasury publication The names of Russian entities and individuals who allegedly participated in an attempt to circumvent the sanctions previously imposed by the United States and its international partners following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.

This division targets a global network of more than 40 individuals and groups led by the Russian commercial bank Transkapitalbank and Konstantin Malofeyev of the oligarch, as they helped circumvent Moscow sanctions.

The Ministry of Finance is also the first foreign asset management company to operate in the Russian cryptocurrency mining industry, including BitRiver, which was founded in Russia in 2017 and currently operates in three offices nationwide. Designated by the station. You have specified a cryptocurrency mining company.

according to Data from Cambridge UniversityRussia is the world’s third largest destination for Bitcoin mining.

“The United States has promised that no matter how complex its assets, the Putin administration will not be a mechanism to offset the effects of sanctions,” the Treasury said.

Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency exchange Binance said it was on April 21st. Restricted services for Russian citizens In line with the European Union’s fifth sanctions package against Moscow, adopted in early April 2022, it has crypto assets in excess of € 10,000 (about $ 10,800).

Them SanctionsIn particular, it aimed to close the loopholes in existing restrictions and included a ban on providing “high value” crypto asset services to Russia.

“Accounts classified under this limit will be in withdrawal-only mode,” Binance said. “Deposits and transactions in these accounts are not allowed.”

“This limit includes all spots, futures, storage wallets, and stakes and deposits earned. In addition, accounts of Russian citizens or natural persons residing in Russia, or legal entities over 10,000 euros established in Russia. All deposits to are restricted. “

Russians residing inside and outside Russia will not be affected by the move if their crypto account is worth less than € 10,000, according to Binance.

The cryptocurrency exchange said it believes that “all other major exchanges must immediately follow the same rules.”

Russian crypto market important At the beginning of April, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was worth 10 trillion rubles (about $ 130 billion).

BitRiver CEO Igor Runets said he will be the second largest miner in the world after the United States. Bloomberg Report.

The latest announcement by the United States will be made after the International Monetary Fund. Warning with new report The Bitcoin could allow countries such as Russia to monetize their energy resources, “some cannot be exported due to sanctions.”

According to the report, “monetization is done directly on the blockchain and outside the financial system where sanctions are in place.”

However, it is unclear how much the Treasury announcement will have an impact.

The Wall Street Journal Small amount of money Seems to have left Russia via digital currency. This indicates that the crypto market is likely to be used by ordinary Russians rather than expert sanctions evaders.

Meanwhile, the local Russian newspaper Izvestia, on April 20, allowed the country’s federal tax bureau to “pay goods and services in accordance with foreign trade agreements and receive revenue from foreign companies in digital currency.” He reported that he supported the plan to do so.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.