The Russian Ministry of Energy plans to introduce a special electricity tariff for cryptocurrency miners after the industry immigrated to the country from nearby China.
Local news agency RBC reported on October 13 that Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov was working on a new framework to differentiate tariffs between general use and mining of cryptocurrencies. , reported the local news agency RBC on October 13th.
Shulginov said that crypto miners in Russia should not be consuming electricity at private prices, stating:
“We cannot allow the miners to take advantage of the low cost of household electricity […] In our opinion, in order to maintain the reliability and quality of the electricity supply, it is necessary to prohibit miners from consuming electricity at residential prices. “
Several regions of Russia have faced explosive spikes in energy use due to Chinese miners leaving the country during a nationwide cryptocurrency crackdown.
In the Russian region of Irkutsk, which is around 1,700 kilometers from China, energy consumption is said to have exceeded the previous year’s figure by almost 160%. Irkutsk Governor Igor Kobzev cited “avalanche growth” in energy use in the jurisdiction, blaming illegal crypto mining, made worse by the migration of miners from China.
As one of the largest regions of Siberia, the Irkutsk region is rich in energy resources, with several large hydropower plants in cities such as Irkutsk, Ust-Ilimsk, and Bratsk. The area is home to several cryptocurrency mining data centers from BitRiver, the largest cryptocurrency mining service provider in the country.
Related: Data center operator “no problem” with Russia’s new crypto crackdown
BitRiver founder and CEO Igor Runets told Cointelegraph that the company fully supports the latest initiative from the Department of Energy:
“That is fair and makes economic sense. In addition, it will help miners break into the legal realm so that the state can take the first step in regulating the industry, which will ultimately lead to complete transparency.
Runets says the company pays for its data center electricity at the business rate, “2.5 or three times more than private individuals.”
Russia has become one of the top locations for Bitcoin (BTC) mining activities after investments by Chinese miners. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Power Consumption Index, bitcoin miners in Russia account for 11% of the total global BTC mining hash rate distribution, best only in Kazakhstan and the United States.