Russian oil workers want to mine bitcoin

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Russian oil companies have offered to start mining cryptocurrencies at their fields, RBC Crypto reports with reference to Kommersant. According to the newspaper, this initiative is being discussed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Digital Industry and the Bank of Russia. Oil workers plan to use associated petroleum gas (APG) for cryptocurrency mining, with the help of which electricity will be generated to supply data centers.

In a letter from the deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Vasily Shpak dated September 7 to the Ministry of Digital Industry and the Central Bank, the regulator is asked to assess the legitimacy of the initiative. The document states that the production of digital assets in the fields will increase the efficiency of natural gas use. As part of the project, the oilmen offered to organize in Russia the production of power plants for mining with the possibility of subsequent export.

According to a Kommersant source close to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, one of the large Russian oil companies is considering the possibility of scaling up its project for the extraction of cryptocurrencies, but fears a negative reaction from the Central Bank, since “this segment is in a legally gray zone”. At the moment, only Gazprom Neft is officially engaged in mining. In 2020, the company launched a data center for mining at its field in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.

On October 19, Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, announced the need to legislate the issue of levying taxes on companies, individual entrepreneurs and individuals who are engaged in mining. In September, he proposed adding mining to the register of entrepreneurial activities. A month later, the Governor of the Irkutsk Region, Igor Kobzev, came up with the same initiative, complaining about a significant increase in energy consumption due to underground miners. Kobzev believes that it is necessary to introduce increased electricity tariffs for miners.

In October, it became known that Russia took the third place in the world in bitcoin mining – according to the University of Cambridge, the country’s share in the total computing power of miners reached 11% in August compared to 6.8% in April.

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