According to Pavel Snikkars, deputy minister of energy, electricity distribution firms in Russia have begun to notice improvised mining crypto farms in residential buildings due to increased energy usage and heavier system loads at substations.
A government official stated that “illegal miners” are the target of the authorities’ hunt. Energy providers can demonstrate in court that these customers are not using the electricity for home purposes. It is not fair since crypto mining has no set of regulations and such activities are not yet specifically prohibited.
According to attorneys contacted by the newspaper, suppliers have been successful in forcing home miners to make up the difference between the discounted prices for the general public and the higher rates that businesses are compelled to pay in at least 10 cases so far.
Snikkars added that the utilities would initially send an inspector to investigate and issue a fresh invoice based on the cost of electricity used for commercial purposes when rising power consumption raises their suspicions. They might eventually try to support their accusations in court.
One of the first to address the problem in 2021 was Irkutskenergosbyt, the electricity distributor in the energy-dense area of Irkutsk known as “the mining capital of Russia.” Crypto miners in the Siberian region, where prices start at just $0.01 per kWh in rural areas, reportedly paid 100 million rubles (about $1.7 million at the time) in fines, according to a story from August of this year.
Snikkars revealed last week that Russia anticipates a significant growth in the proportion of cryptocurrency miners in its overall electrical power consumption. Additionally, he emphasized that at-home mining is a significant issue in some regions where the infrastructure cannot support the loads, and energy companies have been taking steps to ensure consistent supplies.
According to Oleg Ogienko, director for government relations at Bitriver, one of Russia’s major mining farm operators, Russian crypto mining uses roughly 1.7 GW of electricity, of which 50–60% is used in the industrial sector of the market.
In order to benefit from the nation’s competitive advantages for business, such as inexpensive energy supplies and cool climate conditions, the Russian government wants to legalize and regulate mining as one of the crypto-related industries.