The Russian government could be looking to legalize cryptocurrency mining, as parliamentarian Andrey Lugovoy proposed the creation of a working group to discuss the issue, according to a Thursday press statement from State Duma, the country’s lower house of the parliament.

Fast facts

  • Lugovoy, also a deputy chairman of a committee on security and anti-corruption, said that crypto miners are not paying taxes on their earnings, which he put at US$2 billion per year.
  • Lugovoy added that with regulation in place, law enforcement agencies generally fall into a dead end to establish whether crimes are being committed, according to the statement.
  • Russia has been one of the beneficiaries of the exodus of miners from China. The latest data from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance showed that as of the end of August, Russia was the third-largest mining center in the world, following the U.S. and Kazakhstan. Russia accounted for 11.2% of the global Bitcoin hashrate, up from 6.8% at the end of April.
  • Back in July, industry association the Russian Association of Cryptoeconomics, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain said it was working with government authorities to launch a project to attract crypto mining operations to the nation, and that the country’s plentiful electricity and cold climate added to the allure of Russia among crypto miners.