IMF Warns That Crypto Could Help Russia Skirt Sanctions

Russian miners have captured  11 percent of total Bitcoin mining revenues last year

Crypto mining could enable sanctioned nations to evade punitive restrictions researchers the International Monetary Fund said.

Sanctioned nations could monetize domestic energy supplies, which cannot be exported abroad, by mining cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, an IMF report has revealed. While the magnitude of capital flows to sanctioned actors is “relatively contained,” the IMF said that it still presents “risks to financial integrity.”

“Regulators in the United States and United Kingdom, among others, have urged firms in their jurisdictions, including the crypto-asset sector, to increase vigilance with regard to potential Russian sanction evasion attempts,” the IMF wrote in a report. The IMF estimates that of total Bitcoin mining revenues, which last year reached $1.4bn, Russian miners could have captured close to 11 percent while Iranian miners captured three percent.

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