Once again, Russian companies targeted by Western sanctions are finding a way to finance cryptocurrencies. This time, the one who turned to cryptocurrencies after being sanctioned was the independent Russian news site Meduza.
After sanctions for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the portal’s Russian readers were no longer able to make payments to fund the site. Customer payments are the main source of money for the news site.
Now, Meduza has alternative sources of funding, such as cryptocurrencies.
“We cannot predict that sanctions from Western governments will come first and destroy our crowdfunding,” said editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov.
Russian companies turn to cryptocurrencies after being sanctioned
Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned reporting from independent portals about the war in Eastern Europe.
As Forbes reported, Meduza continues to publish her investigations. However, the information is blocked on Russian territory. Thus, readers need to access the site through virtual private networks.
Additionally, the site suggested that readers download its news app and follow its Telegram channel, which was heeded. Despite this, after the restrictions, the Meduza website has lost almost a third of its traffic and, more than ever, needs funds to continue publishing.
Instead of relying on donations from its 30,000 Russian followers, Meduza is now appealing to its international audience to donate dollars, euros or cryptocurrencies to help its 25 journalists.
The site’s donation page includes instructions on how to buy BTC and ETH on Binance. Additionally, it provides guidance on sending untraceable payments using Monero, for those concerned about anonymity.
Based in Latvia, Meduza claims to report “the real Russia, today”. The site has accepted crypto donations since April 2021. Cryptocurrencies such as BTC (BTC), Ether (ETH), BNB, Tether (USDT), Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC) are accepted.
According to on-chain data, since publishing its request for donations, the company has received $250,000 worth of cryptocurrencies. In all, there were more than 146,000 individual transactions.
According to Cointelegraph, around 93% of the total donation amount came in the form of BTC (3.75 BTC) at $116,954 and ETH (49.9 ETH) at $117,767.
But it’s not just companies that are seeing cryptocurrencies as a possibility to evade Western sanctions.
After all, as reported by CriptoFácil, the Russian Ministry of Finance is working on a bill to legalize the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
The bill aims to make cryptocurrency a recognized mode of payment and an investment asset. According to local portal Kommersant, which had access to the document, the legislation contains a detailed regulatory framework and addresses, above all, mining and the circulation of crypto assets.
The project also introduces the concept of professional and non-professional buyers.