BitRiver considers filing suit against US Treasury Department
BitRiver is considering the option of drawing up and filing a lawsuit against the US Treasury Department, which recently imposed personal sanctions against an entire group of companies run by Russia’s largest provider of datacenter services. BitRiver is certain that the actions of the US Treasury Department are inflicting direct reputational damage to the company and its international business, since the accusations are unfounded and untrue. Therefore, the suit will contain a demand to remove BitRiver from the sanctions list, due to the lack of legal grounds for including the company since BitRiver is not a government agency, but a wholly-owned private company that in no way helps the Russian Federation to circumvent sanctions. BitRiver also intends to charge the US Treasury with unfair competition and lobbying for the US mining industry, which constitutes a breach of WTO rules
To remind on April 20, 2022, the US Treasury imposed sanctions against the BitRiver group of companies, which provide for freezing the company’s assets, as well as those of its branches and subsidiaries, introducing a ban for US citizens and companies to do business with them, while completely blocking its assets and transactions. At the same time, not a single sanction imposed by the United States to date prohibits or restricts BitRiver’s commercial activities in Russia or other territories not controlled by the United States. The reason for adding BitRiver to the US blacklist or SDN (Specially Designated Nationals) list is allegedly justified by the claim that "this organization may be involved in attempts to circumvent the sanctions previously imposed by the US and its allies, including the EU, Australia and the UK, against the Russian Federation."
“Market participants are well aware that these actions by the US government constitute an attempt to shift the global balance of power towards American companies and squeeze the largest Russian player, BitRiver, off the market. We have recently received words of encouragement from our key partners and market participants in the US, EU, GCC, China, Russia and the CIS,” said Igor Runets, BitRiver CEO.
BitRiver's operations have always strictly adhered to the highest global standards of corporate governance, complying steadfastly with the law in all jurisdictions where the company operates. We attach particular importance to strict AML/KYC compliance. Throughout the time BitRiver has operated in Russia and on international markets, local regulators have not made one single comment about the company's activities in any of the countries where the company has a footprint. The actions of the US Treasury most likely reflect a desire to protect local companies in the cryptocurrency mining industry against growing competition with Russia, where energy-intensive blockchain computing is already becoming a noticeable engine of development in many regions of the country. Sanctions as an instrument of US pressure on private Russian business will not be able to force it out of the existing international system. These manipulations by US authorities are irresponsible and have neither a solid legal framework, nor wide resonance, nor support from the nternational community.
At present, all enterprises, production sites and offices of BitRiver in Russia are operating as usual. The company continues to provide services to international clients who have confirmed their further cooperation and these are the majority.
BitRiver continues to implement planned investment projects for the construction of new data centers across the regions of Russia. This year the company aims to roll out three new data centers. In addition, the company intends to open the BitRiver Blockchain Technologies Development Center in Vladivostok, a commercial structure that develops software and hardware solutions for mining and digital finance. The BitRiver Blockchain Technology Training Center in Grozny will also be launched, a facility that will provide exclusively educational services in the area of cryptocurrencies, mining and the data center industry as a whole.