On August 20th, a Russian company is reported to have opened Russia’s largest crypto mining farm in a former Soviet Union fertilizer laboratory. The former lab was said to have been unoccupied for 20 years and covers 44,000 square feet.
“This is the largest and so far the only farm in Russia that offers the ‘full cycle’ – not just producing cryptocurrency but also offering services to those who do the mining,” said Alexei Korolyov, co-founder of the Kriptoyunivers centre.
The new facility is located in a northern Russian town called Kirishi, about 180km southeast of Saint Petersburg. It is reported to have required a 500 million rubles (~$7.4 million) investment to get up and running, and will be specializing in mining Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Russia, meanwhile, has remained the third-ranking cryptocurrency producing nation since 2015, according to a study published by Ernst & Young. There remains speculation on whether or not cryptocurrency mining corporations like Kriptoyunivers may one day come under attack, as government bodies continue deliberating on cryptocurrency regulation within the country. However, a current law proposal being read in Russian parliament would allow for cryptocurrency production and large-scale mining farms despite strictly forbidding cryptocurrency trading on exchanges.
Futhermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed public support for blockchain technology. He stated earlier this year that Russia cannot be “late in the race” for blockchain adoption, which he says includes crypto mining. “Russia cannot allow this,” said Putin.
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Russian Cold Creates a Hotbed for Crypto Mining
Cryptocurrency mining farms are extremely energy intensive, often requiring hundreds of millions of watts per month. In fact, energy demands for cryptocurrency mining farms are so great that environmental lobbyists have begun to argue that crypto mining production should be limited to protect against climate change. Russia’s cold climate, however, can play an important role in cutting down these energy costs.
“With excess electricity, vast territory, and a cold climate, Russia could very well become the leader in hosting cryptocurrency mining operations in the future,” reported Bitcoinist in April. “In fact, some businessmen have already been buying entire power plants to this end, while some regions have even announced subsidies in an effort to attract mining businesses.”
In the arctic wasteland of Siberia, another Russian company is building a 3 billion ruble ($48 million) crypto mining facility, and is planning on using excess heat produced from mining to provide warmth for residential buildings in the area.
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