In its latest report, the IMF suggested that Russia and Iran may turn their heads to crypto mining to monetise their energy resources and evade imposed restrictions. The report, emphasised on the fact that Russia could be the one with more probability of shifting towards crypto mining.
“Over time, sanctioned countries could also allocate more resources toward evading sanctions through mining. Mining for energy-intensive blockchains like Bitcoin can allow countries to monetize energy resources, some of which cannot be exported due to sanctions.”Quote from the Global Financial Stability report by IMF.
However, the IMF also noted that at present, the mining activity and generated revenue is low in sanctioned countries. As per statistics in the report, miners in Russia have accounted for 11%, averaging around $1.4 billion per month, while Iran accounted for 3% of Bitcoin’s total mining revenue.
The bitter-sweet relationship between Russia and crypto has been a story even before it invaded Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has previously suggested that Russia has “certain competitive advantages” in cryptocurrency mining.
Putin gave his statement soon after Ivan Chebeskov, the director of the finance ministry’s financial policy department contradicted central bank’s statements regarding cryptocurrencies. Russia was also ranked third in a Cambridge University report for the largest Bitcoin mining market, after Kazakhstan and the U.S., after China’s crypto ban.