Crypto miners account for 2% of total electricity consumption in Russia, according to the latest government estimate.
The energy consumption share of the crypto mining industry has overtaken that of the country’s agricultural sector, showing signs of recovery after Russia fell into the top three in global Bitcoin mining hash rate share (BTC).
Russian Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Vasily Shpak has called for bringing the mining industry under the control of the law following the recent mining estimate. He said:
“Do you know how much mining represents in the global map of electricity production of our country? And I tell you: more than 2%. That is more than the cost of electricity for agriculture We can only recognize mining in this sense as an industrial activity or an industry”.
Crypto mining in Russia falls into the “grey zone” where, while not banned, it is also unregulated, which creates a risk for those involved in the industry. The deputy minister also assured that once the crypto mining industry is regulated, it will move towards more energy-intensive methods.
Related: Amid Sanctions, Russia Weighs Crypto For International Payments: Report
Calls for regulation of the crypto mining industry come just days after lawmakers across the country introduced an updated version of the cryptocurrency mining bill. The updated bill removed two subsections – the requirement for miners to register in a special registry and a one-year tax amnesty for all who registered.
Apart from the Deputy Commerce Minister, the country’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has also fought for investigating the crypto mining industry. In April, Mishustin said:
“We also believe that to stimulate investments, mainly in fixed capital, we can discuss mining issues, it is the creation of data centers and associated infrastructure,” he added.
The Russian central bank, meanwhile, continues to call for a general ban on mining operations in the country.
Russia’s BTC mining hash rate share fell to 4.55% behind Kazakhstan, China and the United States in the latest Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) report.