The Russian Ministry of Energy is considering introducing a special electricity tariff for bitcoin miners, following an influx of business into the country as a result of China’s crackdown.
According to local news outlet RBC, Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov revealed on Wednesday that the authority is working on a new framework to separate prices between normal usage and bitcoin mining.
Cryptocurrency miners in Russia should not use electricity at residential rates, according to Shulginov.
“We can’t let miners capitalize on the situation at the expense of low residential electricity tariffs […] In order to maintain the reliability and quality of power supply, we believe it is necessary to prohibit miners from consuming electricity at residential tariffs.”
Energy use in some Russian regions has reportedly skyrocketed, supposedly as a result of Chinese miners fleeing the country amid a statewide crackdown on cryptocurrency.
The energy consumption rates in Russia’s Irkutsk area, which is around 1,700 kilometres from China, have reportedly surpassed last year’s by about 160 percent.
Irkutsk Governor Igor Kobzev blamed illegal crypto mining activities, which has been exacerbated by the outflow of miners from China, for the “avalanche-like surge” of energy usage in the region.
The Irkutsk area, one of Siberia’s largest, is rich in energy resources, with numerous huge hydroelectric power plants in places like Irkutsk, Ust-Ilimsk, and Bratsk. BitRiver, the country’s major crypto mining colocation services provider, has some crypto mining data centres in the region.
Igor Runets, the founder and CEO of BitRiver, told Cointelegraph that the company completely supports the ministry of energy’s latest initiative:
“It is fair and economically sound. Moreover, it will help miners enter the legal field, so the state can take the first step towards regulating the industry, which will ultimately lead to the transparency of the entire industry.”
According to Runets, the corporation pays commercial customer prices for its data centre electricity, paying “2.5 or 3 times more than individuals.”
Following the Chinese miners’ surrender, Russia has become one of the most popular destinations for Bitcoin (BTC) mining.
According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin miners in Russia account for 11% of the total global BTC mining hash rate distribution, with Kazakhstan and the United States coming in second and third, respectively.