US Treasury sanctions Russian crypto miners, its first sanction on mining

Today, the US Treasury took aim at Russia's cryptocurrency mining industry.

On April 20, the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control added Russia-based cryptocurrency miner BitRiver as well as 10 subsidiaries to its Specially Designated Nationals list.

According to an announcement shared with The Block, the move is indicative of a broader push against Russia's crypto mining industry. The Treasury did not mention any particular association between BitRiver and the Putin regime. 

"By operating vast server farms that sell virtual currency mining capacity internationally, these companies help Russia monetize its natural resources," the Treasury's announcement said. "The United States is committed to ensuring that no asset, no matter how complex, becomes a mechanism for the Putin regime to offset the impact of sanctions."

Indeed, in February, BitRiver announced that it was Russia's first company with a net-zero carbon footprint.

Earlier this year, there was some back and forth over a push to ban crypto mining in Russia, with President Putin ultimately defending the local industry. Per recent estimates, Russia is the third-largest source of Bitcoin mining in the world, after the United States and Kazakhstan.