• Crypto trader Scott Melker said "now I know how it feels" after his bitcoin mining provider Compass' rigs in Russia were sanctioned.
  • Compass has cut ties with partner BitRiver and is scrambling to sell $30 million of equipment in Russia.
  • The US sanctioned Russia after it invaded Ukraine and hit its crypto miners as it targets its financial resources.

Scott Melker, the crypto trader known as the "Wolf of All Streets", said his Russian mining rigs had been sanctioned, and he knows how that feels.

Compass Mining ended its business dealings and ties with Russian crypto mining company BitRiver after the US sanctioned Bitriver and its subsidiaries last week.

"My mining rigs in Russia got sanctioned. Now I know how it feels," Melker tweeted on Tuesday as he posted a statement from the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) on the BitRiver sanction. Melker is an influential voice in the crypto industry and a popular investor known for his versatility in the crypto space. 

The sanctions on BitRiver led to Compass scrambling to deal with the fallout as it tries to sell $30 million worth of mining equipment in Russia with 12 megawatts of energy. 

Western countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia since it invaded Ukraine, targeting the country's sources of finance. The US also banned the import of Russian oil and energy, cutting off one route for financing the war.

With the sanctions on BitRiver, the US wants to cut off Russia's ability to monetize that energy in other ways and further cut funding for its war in Ukraine.

The IMF said crypto could give Russia several ways to sidestep sanctions, including through bitcoin mining.

"Mining for energy-intensive blockchains like bitcoin can allow countries to monetize energy resources, some of which cannot be exported due to sanctions," it said in its Global Financial Stability Report.

The US Treasury said Russia's crypto-mining industry was the third-biggest in the world.

"The United States is committed to ensuring that no asset, no matter how complex, becomes a mechanism for the Putin regime to offset the impact of sanctions," the Treasury said.

BitRiver founder Igor Runets decried the sanctions and said his company never provided services to the Russian government or to the targets of US sanctions.

"The actions of the US Treasury are therefore dictated by competitive considerations in favor of US business," he told Insider last week.

Read the original article on Business Insider