Russian company Bitriver, one of the largest operators of cryptocurrency mining data centers, may sue the U.S. over the decision to place it under sanctions. The company insists it is not helping the Russian government circumvent international restrictions.
Bitriver rejects U.S. accusations as unfounded, sees no legal basis for sanctions
Leading Russian mining company Bitriver is considering filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department, which recently included the Swiss-registered company and several affiliated entities in a new round of sanctions against Russian entities and individuals. The new sanctions, imposed in connection with the war in Ukraine, focused on Russia’s coinage potential.
In comments to the RIA Novosti news agency, Bitriver stated that the agency’s actions damaged its reputation and international business because the accusations were unfounded. The company is also convinced that there is no legal basis for the restrictions and intends to demand that the U.S. authorities remove it from the blacklist. It also stressed:
Bitriver is not a government agency, but a 100% private company that in no way helps the Russian Federation circumvent sanctions.
The Russian group also accuses Treasury of unfair competitive practices and lobbying the U.S. mining industry, which violates World Trade Organization rules. Bitriver CEO Igor Runets describes the agency’s move as “an attempt to change the global balance of power in favor of American companies and remove the largest Russian player from the market.”
Bitriver says that despite the restrictions, all of its production facilities and offices in the Russian Federation are operating as usual. The company also continues to provide services to its international customers, who, according to the company, have confirmed their intentions to continue cooperating with the Russian bitcoin mining operator.
Western allies have imposed several sanctions packages against Russia that limit its access to global finance and foreign reserves. Concerns have been raised that the Russian government and citizens could use cryptocurrencies to circumvent the restrictions. Officials in Moscow have emphasized Russia’s competitive advantages for mining in terms of cheap energy resources and cool climate. In April, a bill aimed at regulating the sector was introduced in parliament.
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