Sanctions Against Russia Getting Serious, Can Bitcoin Help?

As Russia continues to press on to the fact that Crimea belong to the Federation now, the more brutal become the actions that US takes against it.

Certainly, cryptocurrencies are not going to help government institutions but maybe they can become the last resort for Russian citizens abroad, stranded without means to get back, having their bank accounts frozen.


The Sanctions

The previous sanctions imposed by US government look like child’s play comparing to what Visa did. The official spokesperson for Visa in Russia made this public statement (translation from Russian site):

“The USA treasury has imposed sanctions against a number of Russian citizens and organizations. In order to comply with the legal system of USA, Visa International Service Association is obliged to halt the access to the Visa network for these organizations.”

He also added that there four banks that have been affected for the moment (21st March): Sobinbank, Rossiya bank, SMP bank and Investcapitalbank. There were no warnings beforehand; that Friday Visa as well as MasterCard simply ceased to process the transactions of the aforementioned banks.

Matthew Branton, Bitcoin expert and Founder at Coinlock, LLC commented: “Liquidity has a way of routing around national level blockades. This type of action will do more harm to Visa and Mastercard than it will Russia in the mid to long term.”


Could Cryptos be of assistance?

Come to think of that, while I was writing the article I realized that, while not exactly a solution to the problem, cryptocurrencies can become a temporary measure to get some breathing room for the time being. At least until the hype on Crimea goes down.

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