A recent report connected the BBC Chairman, Richard Sharp, to a crypto company founded by a Russian oligarch. Sharp, a former banker, is said to have invested in cryptocurrency business using a foreign firm. The said firm was founded by one of the Russian oligarchs and was recently sanctioned due to the Russian-Ukraine war.
The Guardian reported Sharp’s investment in Atomyze, a Swiss crypto firm, in 2019. According to the report, the chair of the British Broadcasting Corporation used a firm known as ABCP GP Ltd for his investment.
ABCP GP was registered in the Cayman Islands for an operating license. Sharp has been funding Atomyze since three years ago. However, during the period that Sharp started his investment in Atomyze, he hasn’t taken the position of the chair of BBC.
Brief On Atomyze
Atomyze is a cryptocurrency firm founded by Vladimir Potanin, a Russian Oligarch. The firm is operating in Switzerland. It runs as a platform based on blockchain technology where customers can trade commodities. Its major focus is on metals manufactured by Potanin’s company.
Also, Atomyze is built for digitalizing and tokenizing commodities. Some include gold, silver, palladium, nickel, and others. The firm is a strong connection with Nornickel, a Russian mining and smelting giant company.
Additionally, Atomyze has received tremendous popularity within Russia. It’s the country’s first cryptocurrency firm on Russia’s central bank list of approved digital assets operators. It got this approval not long before the Ukraine invasion.
Potanin was among the oligarchs that received an invitation to the Kremlin during the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Potanin is believed to maintain strong ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In June, the UK government sanctioned Potanin after Ukraine’s invasion in February. This was due to his support for President Putin’s regime and his continuous accumulation of wealth.
Sharp’s Crypto Investment Precedes Sanctions
Sharp’s spokesperson for his crypto investment has reacted to the situation. The spokesperson stated that Sharp is deeply interested in diverse and innovative technology such as the blockchain. However, his interest and investment had been before the Potanin’s sanction.
Currently, Sharp has placed his investments in a blind trust. This indicates an agreement for the management of his funds by a third party.
Through this new arrangement, he would avoid potential issues that could lead to conflicts of interest. Also, the spokesperson stressed that there is no directorial or financial interest between the blind trust, Mr. Sharp, Potanin, and his businesses.
Sharp opted for the use of blind trust after becoming the BBC chairman. The trust management is on both ABCP GP Ltd and Atomyze Switzerland with no dependence on Sharp.
Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com