Energy prices from Russia, with no love for crypto miners

Russian leaders have said they are considering slapping special energy tariffs on cryptocurrency operations

Authorities in Russia have confirmed plans to deny crypto miners access to subsidised energy.

The move is expected to lead to the adoption of separate electricity rates for businesses connected with cryptocurrency mining activities, leaving firms in Russia and Belarus facing huge electricity bills.

Authorities in both countries are said to be already working on changes that are likely to result in the introduction of special tariffs from the Russian Ministry of Energy.

Speaking at the Russian Energy Week, energy ministry leader Nikolai Shulginov said crypto miners should not be entitled to special rates intended for households.

Shulginov’s intervention came after Igor Kobzev – the governor of Irkutsk Oblast – recently complained to Russia’s deputy prime minister, Alexander Novak, about illegal crypto miners.

Their actions, Kobzev claimed, multiply the load on the power grid of the Siberian region and create a risk of outages at local power plants.

Kobzev told Novak that electricity consumption in the region had grown by 159% since last year, blaming illegal mining and the influx of miners from China following that country’s regulatory crackdown on crypto. As a result of the clampdown, the Russian Federation unseated the US as the world’s biggest Bitcoin miner, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Belarus classifies crypto miners in separate tariff category

In Belarus, the Ministry of Energy has already classified cryptocurrency miners in a separate tariff category as part of a joint decree with the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade.

Data processing and mining will fall into this category if annual electricity consumption is at least 25 million kWh.

Belarus legalised mining and other crypto-related activities with a presidential decree that came into force in March 2018. Earlier this year, the Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, called for clarifying certain regulatory provisions and establishing stricter control over the crypto space.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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