In a further twist to Russia’s complex approach to cryptocurrency, power plants have begun selling excess capacity to Bitcoin miners.
As local news outlet Daily Storm reports Monday, the country’s largest energy providers Gazprom and EuroSibEnergo are currently “in talks” with “tens” of miners looking to take advantage of cheap electricity prices.
“No contracts have been finalized so far, but the company (EuroSibEnergo) is not declining partnership opportunities,” reports state.
An interactive map shows around 70 “potential” locations miners could use to benefit from spare capacity.
The developments run in contrast with cryptocurrency’s plight at regulatory level in Russia this week.
Cointelegraph reported Monday that senior finance officials plan to ban sales of cryptoassets such as Bitcoin to private individuals.
Only “qualified investors” should have access to such assets, deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev told TV channel Rossiya 24, adding he thought it was “hard to argue against” cryptocurrency being a “pyramid scheme.”
At the same time, a new business co-owned by the Kremlin’s Internet ombudsman is seeking to raise around $100 mln to corner the Bitcoin mining market and challenge Chinese dominance.
Like the miners looking to Gazprom and EuroSibEnergo, state participants want to use Russia’s cheaper energy rates to give China large-scale competition.