Crypto miners account for two percent of the total electricity consumption in Russia, according to the latest government estimate.
The energy consumption share of the crypto mining industry has exceeded the country’s agricultural sector, showing signs of recovery after Russia fell out of the top three in the global Bitcoin (BTC) mining hash rate share.
Russia’s Deputy Minister of trade and industry Vasily Shpak called for bringing the mining industry under the purview of law in the wake of the recent mining estimate. He said:
“Do you know how much mining accounts for in the overall map of electricity generation in our country? And I’ll tell you: more than 2%. This is more than the cost of electricity for agriculture. We cannot but recognize mining in this sense as an industrial activity or industry.”
Crypto mining in Russia falls under the “gray zone.” Even though it is not banned, it is not regulated either, which creates a risk for those involved in the industry. The deputy minister also assured that once the crypto mining industry is regulated, it would move toward more energy-intensive methods.
Related: Amid sanctions, Russia weighs crypto for international payments: Report
The calls for regulating the crypto mining industry come just days after legislators in the country introduced an updated version of the crypto mining bill. The updated bill removed two sub-sections - the obligation for mining operators to join a special registry and a one-year tax amnesty for all those who’ve registered.
Apart from the deputy minister of trade, the country’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has also batted for looking into the crypto mining industry, In April, Mishustin has said:
“We also think that in order to stimulate investment, primarily in fixed capital, we can discuss mining issues, this is the creation of data centers and related infrastructure,”
The Russian central bank, on the other hand, continues to call for a blanket ban on mining operations in the country.
Russia’s BTC mining hash rate share dropped to 4.55% behind Kazakhstan, China and the United States, according to the latest report from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI).