As China’s crypto mining exodus shows no sign of slowing down, neighboring Russia beckons.
Industry association the Russian Association of Cryptoeconomics, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain recently said it was working with government authorities to launch a project to attract crypto mining operations to the nation.
RACIB said Russia had plentiful excess electricity, amounting to more than 50% of installed generating capacity in some parts of the country. Its cold climate and high levels of energy efficiency would also add to the allure of Russia among crypto miners, the statement said.
Russia’s renewable energy sources could also be a draw. One of the association’s working groups has been developing an eco-mining project that is seeking to build mining farms powered by green electricity.
RACIB said the working group was exploring the option of new electricity sources, such as wind power generation, in addition to hydropower and nuclear energy, which make up about 40% of the country’s total energy mix.
The association’s move comes as China continues to tighten the screws on its crypto mining sector. Just last week, a local news outlet in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui reported that the provincial government was planning to carry out a sweeping campaign to curb crypto mining.
Anhui’s squeeze on crypto mining would follow similar clampdowns elsewhere in China, including former Bitcoin-mining hubs Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Yunnan and Sichuan.
Some Chinese miners are already eyeing Russia. The9 Limited, a Nasdaq-listed online game operator based in China that pivoted its business to crypto mining earlier this year, last week announced that it had signed a crypto mining hosting agreement through a wholly-owned unit with BitRiver, a Russian crypto mining company.
The9 entered into a two-year contract with BitRiver, under which the Russian firm is set to reserve 15 megawatts of power capacity for The9’s Bitcoin mining machine deployment. Headquartered in Moscow, BitRiver uses surplus hydroelectric power to operate data centers, and the designated facility for The9’s Bitcoin mining machines has an initial total power supply capacity of 300MW.
In April, Russia was among the top five countries by share of Bitcoin hashrate, recording about 6.8% of hashrate globally, according to the latest data from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. China held a share of about 46% in April, while the U.S. had 16.8%, up from only 7.2% in April last year.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s hashrate share has grown. The country accounted for 8.2% of Bitcoin’s global hashrate in April, up from 6.2% in the same period last year, according to the data.
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