Russian Energy Firms Ready to Crack Down on Crypto Mining

Russian Energy Firms Ready to Crack Down on Crypto Mining

Recent reports have indicated that Russian energy firms are gearing up to take action against private crypto miners operating within the country. The Russian Government Expert Council is reportedly set to send new proposals related to mining to the Cabinet. These proposed measures are part of a larger package of crypto laws that aim to legalize industrial crypto mining while simultaneously cracking down on most domestic exchanges.

One of the key aspects of the proposed measures involves using electricity meter technology to identify suspected miners. By comparing declared electricity readings with actual usage through remote checking solutions, power companies can pinpoint individuals engaged in unauthorized mining activities. The proposal also suggests that power companies should be allowed to charge higher rates to home-based offenders, similar to those imposed on industrial enterprises.

Dmitry Tortev, from the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, highlighted the need for a unified system for fines at the federal level. This system would enable power providers to take swift action against illegal crypto mining without the need for lengthy legal proceedings. The goal is to streamline the enforcement process and intensify the fight against unauthorized mining activities that are currently straining the country’s energy system.

Despite the popularity of crypto mining in Russia, the activity exists in a legal gray area. While private mining is not explicitly illegal, the lack of a regulatory framework has led to issues such as power theft and energy system overloads. The documents emphasize the consequences of unchecked mining activities, including interruptions in electricity supply to consumers and regional deficits in areas like Siberia and the Irkutsk region.

Regions like Irkutsk have emerged as crypto mining hotspots due to their low power rates and cold climates. However, the strain on the energy infrastructure has prompted calls for increased energy tariffs for miners to incentivize them to relocate to less energy-deficient areas. The Ministry of Energy has floated proposals to alleviate network strains, including mandatory shutdowns for industrial miners during certain periods of the year.

Industry stakeholders, including the head of the Industrial Mining Association, have expressed support for creating favorable conditions for industrial mining in Russia. While recognizing the need for regulation, these stakeholders urge Moscow to provide legal clarity before making further investments in data centers. The prospect of paying taxes on earnings is a trade-off that many big mining firms are willing to make in exchange for a stable and regulated operating environment.

The impending crackdown on crypto mining in Russia reflects the government’s efforts to address the challenges posed by unauthorized mining activities. By introducing regulations and enforcement measures, authorities aim to bring clarity to the industry and ensure the sustainable development of industrial mining in the country. The push for legal frameworks and oversight signals a turning point for the crypto mining sector in Russia, with both challenges and opportunities on the horizon.


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