US Treasury Sanctions First Crypto Mixer – Regulation Bitcoin News

US Treasury Sanctions First Crypto Mixer – Regulation Bitcoin News

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued its first-ever sanctions on a crypto mixer. The mixing service was used by Lazarus Group to process illicit proceeds from the $620 million crypto heist of the online game Axie Infinity, said the Treasury Department.

Treasury Department Sanctions Crypto Mixer

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced Friday that it has sanctioned crypto mixer Blender.io (Blender). According to the OFAC, this mixing service is used by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) “to support its malicious cyber activities and money-laundering of stolen virtual currency.”

The announcement explains that on March 23, Lazarus Group, a DPRK state-sponsored cyber hacking group, carried out the largest cryptocurrency heist to date, worth almost $620 million, of a blockchain project linked to the online game Axie Infinity. The OFAC added:

Blender was used in processing over $20.5 million of the illicit proceeds.

The OFAC sanctioned the Lazarus Group on Sept. 13, 2019, and “identified it as an agency, instrumentality, or controlled entity of the government of the DPRK,” the announcement adds. The designation is based on the group’s “relationship to the U.S.- and UN-designated Reconnaissance General Bureau, the DPRK’s premiere intelligence organization.”

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson commented:

Today, for the first time ever, Treasury is sanctioning a virtual currency mixer.

The investigation by the OFAC also found that Blender facilitated money laundering for Russian-linked malign ransomware groups including Trickbot, Conti, Ryuk, Sodinokibi, and Gandcrab.

The U.S. Treasury Department clarified:

While most virtual currency activity is licit, it can be used for illicit activity, including sanctions evasion, through mixers, peer-to-peer exchangers, darknet markets, and exchanges.

“This includes the facilitation of heists, ransomware schemes, and other cybercrimes,” the Treasury noted.

The announcement details that as a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of Blender.io, in the U.S. or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to the OFAC. Moreover, any entities that are 50% owned or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked, and all transactions by U.S. persons or within the U.S. involving designated or blocked persons are prohibited.

What do you think about the OFAC sanctioning the crypto mixer? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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Sony Partners With Theta Labs to Launch 3D NFTs for Its Spatial Reality Display – Bitcoin News

Sony Partners With Theta Labs to Launch 3D NFTs for Its Spatial Reality Display – Bitcoin News

Sony Group Corporation has revealed it has partnered with Theta Labs in order to launch 3D non-fungible token (NFT) assets. The upcoming NFTs will be crafted for the Sony Spatial Reality Display and are designed for three-dimensional viewing.

Sony 3D NFTs to Enhance Spatial Reality Display Features

The Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation Sony is working with Theta Labs, the creators of the Theta blockchain. The Theta project is described as a decentralized video streaming network or video delivery network with its own native crypto asset, theta network (THETA). According to Sony’s announcement sent to Bitcoin.com News, the electronics giant plans to issued ten “Tiki Guy” NFTs, and the firm is issuing two-dimensional versions as well.

Sony Partners With Theta Labs to Launch 3D NFTs for Its Spatial Reality Display

The NFTs are created for the Sony Spatial Reality Display (SRD), a tablet that leverages technologies like augmented reality and 3D enhancements. Sony’s official Youtube channel published a video that showcases the SRD device and the aforementioned technologies the tablet leverages.

“Our legacies of cutting-edge visual and spatial realities combine in an incredible 3D optical experience where detailed texture, high contrast, and luminous brightness come together to create a portal to another world,” Sony’s video description explains.

Sony Exec: ‘NFTs Are a Great Way to Showcase the Potential of Sony’s SRD’

SRD plans to incorporate NFTs and metaverse concepts into the device’s offerings and Nick Colsey, Sony’s VP of business development, believes NFTs will enhance the experience. “Immersive, three-dimensional NFTs are a great way to showcase the potential of Sony’s Spatial Reality Display for metaverse enthusiasts and collectors,” Colsey said in a statement.

The Sony and Theta Labs partnership follows the Theta Hackathon that took place two weeks ago, and Bridgetower Capital launching a Theta Enterprise Validator Node. Theta network (THETA), however, has lost 86.1% in value against the U.S. dollar since April 16, 2021.

30-day stats show THETA is down 33.7% since last month. In terms of the 17 blockchains that issued NFTs, Theta network is the 14th largest in terms of sales volume. As far as all-time statistics, Theta has seen $14.74 million in NFT sales via 1,279 buyers, 1,159 sellers, and 8,165 transactions.

Tags in this story
2D NFTs, 3d, 3D NFTs, 3D non-fungible tokens, Blockchain, Bridgetower Capital, nft, NFT issuance, NFTs, Nick Colsey, Non-fungible tokens, sony, Sony and Theta Labs, Sony Electronics, Spatial Reality Display, SRD, Theta, Theta Labs, Theta Labs and Sony, Theta Network, Tiki Guy

What do you think about Sony partnering with Theta Labs to produce 3D NFTs for the SRD tablet? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.




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Anchor Protocol’s Earn Rate Adjusts for the First Time, From 19.4 to 18% APY – Defi Bitcoin News

Anchor Protocol’s Earn Rate Adjusts for the First Time, From 19.4 to 18% APY – Defi Bitcoin News

Following the governance vote that aimed to implement a semi-dynamic earn rate for the Anchor Protocol, the decentralized finance (defi) platform’s earn rate adjusted downward for the first time this month. After holding steady with a 19.4% annual percentage yield (APY) since the project started, Anchor Protocol’s earn rate is now roughly 18% APY for the month of May.

Defi Lending Protocol Anchor’s Earn Rate Adjusts Downward

The lending platform Anchor Protocol is the third-largest defi protocol today with $16.5 billion total value locked (TVL). Statistics show that during the last 30 days, Anchor’s TVL has increased 9.25% since last month.

Around 45 days ago, the team behind the lending protocol announced that a proposal had passed and the decentralized money market would have a fluctuating earn rate. Before the proposal, Anchor users who deposited terrausd (UST) would get a steady 19.4% APY earn rate on their UST deposits every month.

Anchor Protocol's Earn Rate Adjusts for the First Time, From 19.4 to 18% APY
Anchor Protocol’s current APY stats.

Since the governance vote passed, the first semi-dynamic adjustment took place at the start of May, and depositors today are getting roughly around 18% APY. Since the change took place, the earn rate can increase or decrease per period to 1.5% depending on the increase and decreases in yield reserves.

With the current 18% APY, the change means this month, depositors will be getting less than they used to get prior to the adjustment change. Furthermore, in June the earn rate could very well change again depending on the protocol’s yield reserves.

Anchor Protocol now supports two blockchains, as Avalanche support was recently implemented. While $16.27 billion stems from Terra-based tokens, $202.48 million worth of Anchor’s TVL is comprised of Avalanche-based tokens. Currently, there’s $2.9 billion that’s been borrowed from the Anchor Protocol in defi loans.

The Anchor earn rate fluctuation follows the recent defi forex reserve purchases made by the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG). The non-profit organization based in Singapore leverages the reserves to back terrausd (UST) and LFG holds 80,394 BTC worth $2.89 billion and $100 million in AVAX.

With Anchor Protocol changing its incentives to a semi-dynamic earn rate, it will be interesting to see if it affects the platform’s TVL, which has seen growth month after month. During the past 24 hours, Anchor’s TVL has dropped by 2.89% and this week it’s dipped by 0.66% in the past seven days.

Tags in this story
Algorithmic stablecoin, Anchor, anchor protocol, Anchor’s TVL, Annual Percentage Yield, APY, Avalanche support, DeFi, defi lending, defi platform, earn rate, earn rate change, Luna Foundation Gaurd (LFG), protocol’s yield reserves, semi-dynamic earn rate, Stablecoins, Terra, TerraUSD, total value locked, TVL, UST, UST deposits

What do you think about the Anchor Protocol’s earn rate adjusting? Do you think it will affect the defi protocol’s popularity? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.




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Central Bank of Argentina Bans Private Banks From Offering Cryptocurrency Services – Regulation Bitcoin News

Central Bank of Argentina Bans Private Banks From Offering Cryptocurrency Services – Regulation Bitcoin News

The Central Bank of Argentina has taken steps to ban private banks from offering cryptocurrency services to customers in the country. The action comes after two banks had started offering cryptocurrency purchasing services from their apps. The measure is said to be directed at mitigating risks associated with cryptocurrency assets.

Central Bank of Argentina Closes Banking Crypto Offers

The Central Bank of Argentina is tightening its permissive attitude when it comes to the links between cryptocurrency assets and private banks. The institution has issued a document that deals with the offering of cryptocurrency purchasing and trading services through these institutions, banning them from facilitating such transactions for Argentinian citizens.

The document explains:

Financial entities may not carry out or facilitate their clients to carry out operations with digital assets, including crypto assets and those whose yields are determined based on the variations that they register, that are not regulated by the national authority and authorized by the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA).

Furthermore, the institution argues that the objective behind this measure is to mitigate the risk that the users and financial institutions face when using these assets as investment vehicles. This announcement comes after two private banks in the country, Banco Galicia and Brubank, had announced they were introducing cryptocurrencies as part of their financial services offerings to their customers.


Other Motives

However, according to some local media reports, there may be other motives behind this prohibition by the central bank. The organizations reportedly already consulted the central bank in private, who gave them an approbatory nod, owing to the fact that banks operating with cryptocurrency assets is unregulated, and thus not illegal.

Per financial sources, the cryptocurrency operations might also cause a demand in dollars that would increase the breach between the official dollar price and the dollar on the black market, called the “blue” dollar. Argentina has exchange controls, and this could have influenced the decision to stop these operations before they became more important in the bigger economic picture.

The difference between the official dollar and the blue dollar has remained the same, with the latter being about 80% more expensive than the former, meaning that the volumes traded during these days did not exert any influence on this exchange rate.

Another possible reason for this measure has to do with the deal that Argentina inked with the International Monetary Fund to pay its debt, which includes a requirement stating the country will disincentivize the use of cryptocurrencies, and allowing private banks to offer these services would be contrary to this.

What do you think about the resolution issued by the Central Bank of Argentina that bans private banks from offering cryptocurrency to their customers? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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LUNA Falls to 6-Week Low, as ALGO Surges 15% on Saturday – Market Updates Bitcoin News

LUNA Falls to 6-Week Low, as ALGO Surges 15% on Saturday – Market Updates Bitcoin News

Despite Terra buying $1.5 billion worth of BTC this week, LUNA slipped to a six-week low to start the weekend. Overall, crypto markets remained in the red, however ALGO was one of the rare exceptions to record significant gains.

Algorand (ALGO)

ALGO was easily one of the biggest gainers during Saturday’s session, as prices rose by as much as 15% on the day.

Following yesterday’s low of $0.63, ALGO/USD rallied to an intraday peak of $0.745 to start the weekend.

The surge saw prices move from long-term support of $0.65, to now hovering marginally below resistance of $0.75.

Biggest Movers: LUNA Falls to 6-Week Low, as ALGO Surges 15% on Saturday
ALGO/USD – Daily Chart

This current ceiling hasn’t been properly broken since March 21, when prices made their way to a high of $0.95.

Although bulls will be hopeful of a break above this current resistance, there remain some notable obstacles in the way.

Once of which being the current resistance level in the 14-day RSI of 52. However, should this be cleared, we will likely see an influx of ALGO bulls.

Terra (LUNA)

Despite continuing to buy billions of dollars worth of BTC for its reserves, LUNA fell for a third straight day on Saturday.

This latest drop saw prices fall to an intraday bottom of $72.34, which is the lowest point prices have hit since February 28.

Following a false breakout of resistance at $86 on Thursday, bears have continued to pile on the pressure on LUNA/USD, with today’s fall moving below support at $78.

Biggest Movers: LUNA Falls to 6-Week Low, as ALGO Surges 15% on Saturday
LUNA/USD – Daily Chart

As of writing, the $72 level seems to be acting as an interim floor, with the bullish engulfing candle that followed February’s low a key reason why some traders are optimistic.

Although we might not see a $20 surge in price as seen on that occasion, if this does mature into being a firm floor, it could help inspire more LUNA bulls to return.

Why haven’t we seen any sizable gains in LUNA despite it building reserves with BTC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Eliman Dambell

Eliman brings a diversified point of view to market analysis, having worked as a brokerage director, retail trading educator, and market commentator in Crypto, Stocks and FX.




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ETH Remains Close to 6-Week Low to Start the Weekend – Market Updates Bitcoin News

ETH Remains Close to 6-Week Low to Start the Weekend – Market Updates Bitcoin News

Following a recent string of declines, ETH continued to hover close to a six-week low to start the weekend. BTC was also lower on Saturday, as the world’s largest cryptocurrency remained closer to a two-month low.

Bitcoin

BTC was once again trading lower on Saturday, as prices were battling to find a floor following Friday’s selloff.

After hitting an intraday low of $35,482.13 during yesterday’s session, BTC/USD was marginally higher, but still close to its two-month low.

Today’s session has so far seen BTC rise to a peak of $36,357.75, which is around 0.26% higher than yesterday’s low.

BTC/USD – Daily Chart

Crypto prices have sunk in the past three days, as markets reacted to the Fed’s interest rate decision, and the recent non-farm payrolls report.

Markets across the board have sold off, with the Dow Jones falling by over 1,000 points in recent days.

Many believe that this is a result of traders taking a risk off approach as inflationary pressures continue to grip participants with fear.

As of writing, BTC seems to have found an interim floor of $35,530, with some hoping this could be a launching point towards $37,000.

Ethereum

Saturday also saw ETH attempting to find a form of price support, as prices battled to move away from a six-week low.

Following three consecutive sessions of declines, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency seemed to have found support at $2,660.

This potential support point comes after the price fell to a low of $2,645.34 on Friday, having since risen to a peak of $2,721.10.

ETH/USD – Daily Chart

This price drop comes as the 14-day RSI also hit a floor of its own, at the 39.10 level, which is the lowest point it has tracked at since last Saturday.

Bulls will be looking at what happened on March 16 for inspiration, when we saw a bounce from this current price point, leading to a nearly $1,000 price increase.

However, should this floor fail to hold, then bears will likely be targeting exits at $2,500.

Do you expect bulls or bears to reign supreme this weekend? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Eliman Dambell

Eliman brings a diversified point of view to market analysis, having worked as a brokerage director, retail trading educator, and market commentator in Crypto, Stocks and FX.




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Almost Three out of Four Argentinians Are Willing to Purchase Crypto for Investing or Saving Purposes – Emerging Markets Bitcoin News

Almost Three out of Four Argentinians Are Willing to Purchase Crypto for Investing or Saving Purposes – Emerging Markets Bitcoin News

A new survey, whose results were released earlier this week, has given more insight into how Argentinians view cryptocurrencies and how they might put them to use. The survey found out that eventually, almost three out of four citizens would purchase cryptocurrency to invest, or as a way of preserving buying power.

Argentinians Familiar With Crypto

A survey whose results were released on May 4, offers a clear panorama of the popularity of crypto in Argentina, and how Argentinians might be capable of using crypto for different purposes. The survey, which was carried out by Opinaia y Muchnik, two consulting offices, asked several crypto-related questions to a sample of 2,400 Argentinian citizens from all around the country, living at different economic levels.

On the issue of crypto popularity, the survey found that 90% of the citizens consulted had heard about cryptocurrencies before the survey. However, this popularity does not lead to operating with crypto directly. The survey also reported that only 38% have knowledge about the operation and the inner workings of crypto assets.

However, Argentinians are willing to use crypto in different ways if they have to. 74% of the surveyed stated they would buy and use cryptocurrencies either as investment assets or just to save part of their purchasing power.


State of Crypto in Argentina

The study dwelled on how citizens trusted cryptocurrencies when compared to other investment assets, such as stocks and bonds. In this sense, cryptocurrencies fared in the middle, below classic instruments such as the dollar, but over other instruments. Guido Moscoso, public opinion manager at Opinaia, summarized:

Cryptocurrencies have an average level of trust, similar to that of an investment fund or shares, but below more classic or entrenched forms such as the dollar, the fixed term, or Mercado Pago. But yes, they are well above the confidence put on bonds.

The survey, according to Moscoco, is a sign of the times, when Argentinians are very worried about the economic climate in the country and are studying different ways of saving their money in a highly inflationary environment. But he also explained that this interest is blocked by the high knowledge barrier that the average citizen faces when trying to enter the cryptocurrency world. Of the 74% of Argentinians that would be willing to purchase crypto assets, 49% stated that they would purchase them, but they don’t know how to do it.

What do you think about the latest survey about cryptocurrency popularity and usage in Argentina? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Turkey’s Inflation Rate Surges to 70%, Monthly Rate of Change Now 7.25% – Economics Bitcoin News

Turkey’s Inflation Rate Surges to 70%, Monthly Rate of Change Now 7.25% – Economics Bitcoin News

The latest data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI) shows that rising transportation and food costs were some of the key factors contributing to the surge in the country’s inflation rate to 70%.

Economic Revival Efforts Not Bearing Fruit

Rising commodity prices and increased transport costs are some of the key contributing factors behind the surge in Turkey’s inflation rate to 70%, the latest data has shown. On a month-to-month basis, however, April prices are only 7.25% higher, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI) shows.

Turkey's Inflation Rate Surges to 70%, Monthly Rate of Change Now 7.25%
Image: TSI

The new data again suggests that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s attempts to revive the economy are not bearing fruit just yet. As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, Turkey’s deteriorating economic situation took a turn for the worst after President Erdogan fired the then central bank governor, Naci Agbal.

Since then, the country’s monetary authorities have struggled to tame the consumer inflation rate, which stood at 17.14% in April 2021. By the end of the last quarter of 2021, Turkey’s CPI was already over 20%. In fact, according to a Bitcoin.com News report in January 2022, the country’s inflation rate was 36%.

Driving Turkey’s consumer price index in the month of April, according to the data, were transportation costs, which more than doubled from what they were 12 months ago. Food and non-alcoholic beverages (89.1%) are one of three groups of goods whose realized annual change is higher than 70%. Prices in the furnishings and household equipment main group were up by 77.64%.

Communication Has Lowest Observed Annual Increase

When compared to the general consumer price index (CPI), about 9 “main groups” had realized annual price increases that are lower than 70%. The main group that had the lowest observed annual price change is the communication category, which recorded 18.71%.

With respect to monthly changes in main groups, the TSI said:

“In April 2022, miscellaneous goods and services with 0.93%, health with 1.31% and communication with 2.87% were the main groups that indicated [the] lowest monthly increase. On the other hand, food and non-alcoholic beverages with 13.38%, housing with 7.43%, and clothing and footwear with 6.96% were the main groups where high monthly increases realized.”

What are your thoughts on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.














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Cryptocurrencies Unlikely to Help Russia Evade Sanctions – Bitcoin News

Cryptocurrencies Unlikely to Help Russia Evade Sanctions – Bitcoin News

Russia’s ability to employ cryptocurrencies to circumvent international sanctions is restricted by the limited size of the crypto market, according to Moody’s. Despite increased use in small transactions, low liquidity is another factor preventing Russians from exploiting the utility of bitcoin and the like.

Crypto Assets Not Viable Option for Sanctioned Russia, Moody’s Report Suggests

Western sanctions, imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, have raised questions whether Russian citizens and government can utilize cryptocurrencies to bypass the restrictions and conduct financial transactions, Moody’s Investors Service notes in a report published this week.

The agency’s bond credit rating unit highlights the recent increase in the volume of small transactions made by Russians. But the authors also say that despite their anonymous nature, crypto assets are not that useful when it comes to evading financial penalties. They insist:

Given the ruble-to-crypto market’s limited size and low liquidity, we believe that, for now, crypto assets are unlikely to provide a viable and efficient solution for individuals to circumvent sanctions.

Moody’s also recalls that officials in Moscow have recently indicated that Russia may accept payments in cryptocurrency for its oil and gas exports. However, its experts think that again the market’s current size and insufficient liquidity would undermine this option, too.

Furthermore, crypto platforms are often obliged to comply with anti-money laundering and know your customer requirements and they usually check customers during onboarding. “A centralized digital asset venue with well-established screening and compliant onboarding processes would be able to flag and disable blacklisted accounts,” the analysts point out.

While illicit activities of bad actors that occur off centralized crypto exchanges or on unregulated digital asset platforms could remain undetected and unreported to authorities, such activities are not large enough at the moment to enable sanctioned countries like the Russian Federation to avoid the restrictions Moody’s concludes.

Tags in this story
circumvention, Crypto, crypto assets, crypto payments, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, evasion, invasion, Moody’s, penalties, report, restrictions, Russia, russian, Sanctions, Ukraine, War

Do you think Russia is trying to use cryptocurrencies to circumvent financial sanctions? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Russia’s Anti-Monopoly Agency Proposes Higher Electricity Rates for Home Crypto Miners – Mining Bitcoin News

Russia’s Anti-Monopoly Agency Proposes Higher Electricity Rates for Home Crypto Miners – Mining Bitcoin News

The anti-monopoly service of Russia has suggested that Russians minting digital currencies at their homes should pay more for the spent electrical energy. The proposal comes after the submission of a bill tailored to regulate cryptocurrency mining to the Russian parliament.

Russian Miners Using Household Electricity Should Pay Higher Bills, Anti-Monopoly Body Says

Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) has designed a scheme to charge amateur crypto miners increased rates for the electricity they use. The agency insists its approach to solving the problem with rising consumption in residential areas, due in part to the growing popularity of mining, can reduce the load on the electrical networks.

Authorities in the Russian Federation maintain differentiated electricity tariffs depending on the status and location of consumers, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily explains in an article. Businesses subsidize household prices through their own tariffs, which can be up to two times higher than the rates for the general population.

Private consumers often try to exploit their low rates to earn money by powering anything from car repair shops to woodworking shops, the Community of Energy Consumers association notes. As a result, grids in residential areas are overloaded as they are not designed to cope with the excessive power usage, which has also spiked due to home mining.

The FAS now wants to introduce a threshold for electricity consumption, above which higher rates will be imposed. Thus, according to the anti-monopoly service, household needs will be separated from commercial ones. The consumption of various household appliances, including those with increased power usage like air conditioning units, will be accounted for.

Each Russian region will be able to set the amount of electricity that will be supplied at preferential rates, taking into account factors such as power usage for heating in the cold months and the length of the heating season, the FAS pointed out. In December, the federal government allowed regional authorities to independently determine the local electricity tariffs.

Power supply networks in the residential areas of many regions with historically low electricity prices, such as Irkutsk Oblast, Krasnoyarsk Krai, and Dagestan, have suffered breakdowns due to the spread of improvised crypto mining farms minting coins in basements and garages.

The introduction of differentiated tariffs is expected to reduce interest in mining and other ways of earning at the expense of subsidized household electricity. The agency hopes the new approach can also lower production costs for businesses calculated in the prices of their goods and services, ultimately suppressing inflation.

The proposal comes as Russian lawmakers are reviewing a new draft law on cryptocurrency mining. The legislation aims to regulate the industry in the country, which is rich in cheap energy resources and favorable climatic conditions. Its competitive advantages can potentially turn Russia into a global mining leader, officials have acknowledged.

Tags in this story
agency, bitcoin farms, Bitcoin Miners, Bitcoin mining, body, consumption, Crypto, crypto farms, crypto miners, crypto mining, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Electricity, Home Miners, Miners, mining, power, pricing, rates, Russia, russian, scheme, tariffs

What are your thoughts on the new electricity pricing that will affect crypto miners in Russia? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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