BBC president reportedly invests in crypto company founded by Russian oligarch

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BBC president reportedly invests in crypto company founded by Russian oligarch

Richard Sharp, a former banker who has now served as BBC chairman since February 2021, allegedly used an offshore company to invest in a cryptocurrency-related venture founded by a Russian oligarch.

Interestingly enough, the oligarch is now being sanctioned due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

  • According The Guardian, Sharp used a company registered in the Cayman Islands to invest in a cryptocurrency-related business called Atomyze.
  • Atomyze is established in Switzerland by Vladimir Potanin – a well-known Russian oligarch.
  • Potanin is also commonly called Nickel King and is known to have ties to President Vladimir Putin. Notably, he was also one of the oligarchs invited to the Kremlin when Russia invaded Ukraine.
  • The BBC chairman allegedly invested in Atomyze in 2019 using a company called ABCP GP Ltd., registered in the Cayman Islands.
  • Atomyze is a platform that leverages blockchain-based technology to allow users to trade commodities, specifically metals produced by the Potanin company.
  • At the time, however, Sharp was not chairman of the BBC.
  • A spokesman for Sharp’s investment trust commented on the matter, saying it had a “long-standing interest in a range of emerging technologies” while saying that at the time no sanctions had was imposed on Potanin.
  • Additionally, Sharp had placed its investments in a blind trust which represents an agreement that the funds are managed by a third party to completely avoid any possible conflict of interest.

The arrangement continued after Sharp became chairman of the BBC. This blind trust has professionally managed the interests of ABCP GP Ltd and Atomyze Switzerland independently of Mr. Sharp and under the sole direction of the trust since its inception.

Currently, the Blind Trust, and therefore Mr. Sharp, have no financial or management interest in any business owned and controlled by Mr. Potanin. – added the spokesperson.

Image courtesy of The JC

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