Russia’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Vasily Shpak called for regulating cryptocurrency mining as the industry has grown too big to ignore, Interfax news agency reported on Friday.
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- Shpak said that crypto mining activities took up over 2% of the country’s total power consumption, surpassing the electricity used by the agriculture sector, according to the report.
- Crypto mining is in a gray zone at the moment without being taxed, Shpak said. But the industry needs to be recognized, and regulated, as an industrial activity, he added.
- Russia’s central bank had called for a ban on crypto before the invasion of Ukraine but has since granted the country’s largest bank, Sberbank, a license to trade in digital assets.
- However, the Russian government and central bank may reach a middle ground, allowing cryptocurrency to be used for international payments.
- Earlier this month, a deputy warden at Russia’s oldest prison allegedly mined cryptocurrency in the facility and is being investigated for stealing electricity to do so.
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