Russian energy minister says miners should pay more for electricity

Nikolay Shulginov, Russian Minister of Energy, told the TASS agency that cryptocurrency miners should pay more than households for electricity in order to keep the power grid reliable and functioning, the agency reported on Wednesday.

The Energy Ministry is working on solutions, he said, although it is not clear whether any specific bills or guidelines will be implemented soon.

The remark comes shortly after the head of Irkuts Oblast, a region of Siberia popular with crypto miners, complained that the miners operate in residential buildings and consume large amounts of electricity. at retail prices.

Governor Igor Kobzev wrote to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak earlier this week, saying electricity consumption in the region had increased 159% since last year. He blamed illegal mining and the influx of miners from China following that country’s regulatory crackdown on crypto.

Roman Zabuga, spokesperson for BitRiver, a major mining farm in the region, said cryptocurrency mining has flourished, along with the rise in the price of bitcoin. However, rather than Chinese, the growth is coming from locals expanding existing mining operations or starting new ones.

“These miners are actually using electricity for households, at a price subsidized by the regional government, for commercial purposes,” he said, adding that special tariffs for minors could be introduced in the future.

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