• Sanctioned A Russian oligarch has urged the central bank to accept Bitcoin

  • After the US Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his homes in Washington and New York, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has once again urged the Russian government to stop ignoring Bitcoin (BTC).

    Deripaska argued in an Oct. 21 Telegram post that the Bank of Russia has been “infantile in ignoring the growing cryptocurrency market,” whereas the US Treasury has been “investing particularly in this direction.”

    The billionaire emphasized that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have enormous potential not only to help Russia avoid US sanctions but also to weaken the US dollar, stating:

    “The United States realized a long time ago that uncontrolled digital payments have the potential to not only nullify the effectiveness of the entire mechanism of economic sanctions, but also to bring the dollar down as a whole.”

    Deripaska specifically mentioned a US sanctions review that will be published by the US Treasury in October 2021. According to the oligarch, the US government “effectively admitted” that growing fintech tools such as cryptocurrencies pose a serious threat to the US dollar.

    “This means that the development of the cryptocurrency market uncontrolled by the state could put the US Treasury in danger of default due to its $30 trillion debt,” Deripaska argued.

    “It’s time to wake up and take cryptocurrency seriously.” “There are still a lot of people willing to fight in the aging American establishment,” he said.

    The US Treasury published a brochure last Friday that provides guidance for cryptocurrency companies to ensure that they are in compliance with US sanctions. The authority stated in the document that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions “apply equally to transactions involving virtual currencies and those involving traditional fiat currencies,” adding:

    “Virtual currency industry members are responsible for ensuring that they do not engage, directly or indirectly, in transactions prohibited by OFAC sanctions, such as dealings with blocked persons or property or engaging in prohibited trade- or investment-related transactions.”

    Deripaska’s latest comments come just days after FBI agents raided homes associated with the oligarch in Washington and New York City on Tuesday. According to a Deripaska representative, the searches were carried out on the basis of two court warrants related to US sanctions. Deripaska, who is said to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was sanctioned by the US in 2018.

    The Russian oligarch has previously chastised the Russian central bank for rejecting Bitcoin. In June, the billionaire argued that Russia needed to enter the cryptocurrency market in order to provide a “real financial instrument enabling independence in foreign trade settlements.”

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