BitRiver – Russia’s largest provider of data center services – is considering filing a lawsuit against the US Treasury Department over last month’s listing of the company on its sanctions list. The firm also accused the US of violating WTO rules by encouraging unfair competition and lobbying the US mining industry.
BitRiver called US allegations ‘baseless and untrue’
According to its press release, BitRiver argued that it is a 100% private company with no involvement from the Russian government, thereby maintaining its innocence for helping the regime evade sanctions. It also stated that the wrongly imposed sanction caused “direct reputational damage” to its operations.
On April 20, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against BitRiver, barring it from doing business with US citizens. The agency said Russia has significant “comparative advantages” in cryptocurrency mining and expressed concern that individuals or companies might use crypto to evade sanctions.
BitRiver dismissed such a point in the press release, noting that it has always abided by corporate governance and complied with the laws in its areas of operation. The company was particularly proud of its strict AML/KYC compliance, pointing out that its operations in Russia and other jurisdictions had not caught the eye of the watchdogs.
BitRiver attributed the Treasury Department’s sanction to an intention to “protect local businesses.” The Russian mining giant called the US authorities’ actions “irresponsible” and claimed that neither the legal framework nor adequate justification could support such action.
Despite the sanctions imposed, which could harm its business, BitRiver reiterated that the facility continues to function normally and communicate with foreign customers:
“Currently, all BitRiver companies, production facilities and offices in Russia are working as usual. The company continues to provide services to international clients who have confirmed their continued cooperation, and these are the majority.”
IMF warned against circumventing sanctions cryptocurrency
A day before the US agency imposed sanctions on BitRiver, the IMF warned that Russia could use cryptocurrencies and significantly boost its mining industry to avoid economic repercussions. The global authority also noted, “Mining for energy-intensive blockchains like Bitcoin may allow countries to monetize energy resources, some of which cannot be exported due to sanctions.”
However, the crypto industry has tended to believe the opposite, viewing the use of digital assets like bitcoin to circumvent sanctions as a myth. Binance CEO CZ said in an interview last month that “nobody smart” would choose crypto for it because it’s “too traceable,” and governments are getting better at tracking such transactions.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch