Russian Miner Imports 20k Bitcoin Rigs, The Largest-Ever Batch

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In Brief
  • Russia's unquenchable thirst for bitcoin (BTC) has led to the acquisition of additional mining equipment.

  • Global competition for Bitcoin mining dominance is starting to heat up.

  • The move brings into question the country's oppressive crypto laws.

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Russian miners have made a remarkable move by purchasing a massive number of Bitcoin mining rigs. This is the largest figure in the country’s history.

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According to a Kommersant report, BitRiver imported the largest set of Bitcoin (BTC) mining equipment in December. This is the largest single batch to make its way into the country. With an estimated 70 Megawatts (MW) of capacity, it will accommodate retail operations for at least three months.

Bitcoin Mining Dominance

These new rigs are estimated to cost between $40 and 70 million. Per the report, Russia appears interested in increasing its Bitcoin mining stake and now sits in the top three countries mining BTC. 

According to the CEO of the Bitriver data center, Igor Runets, mining operations began immediately after delivery. Runets explained that the supply came from Asia. However, no supplier was given.

Furthermore, the head of Russian mining distributors, Artyom Eremin, said that the recent supply would amount to about $50 million. This estimation is based on last year’s price before the recent bitcoin rally.

Cryptocurrency expert Sergy Troshin also agreed that modern mining equipment handling 70 MW could fetch anywhere between $40-60 million. He made this statement alluding that the quality of the equipment was very high.  

Troshin believes that the imported rigs have the capacity to mint up to 1.1% of the total capacity of the entire Bitcoin network. Although Russia is gradually making its way up the ranks, China maintains its lead with over 50% of the market.

Russia’s Sharp U-turn

This development is in opposition to the restrictive laws the country previously imposed on cryptocurrencies. Evgeny Vlasov, head of Comino commented on the acquisition:

“This year, according to the expert, there is no need to wait for such transactions in Russia, since the shortage of all electronic equipment, including mining equipment, is increasing due to the lack of chips.”

He said that Russia’s good position is due to the low cost of electricity, making it a top choice for prospective miners. The country currently generates between 38-60 Gigawatts of electrical energy. This could see it strengthen its position further. 

Cryptocurrency proponents have shown major discontent in recent times after the country prohibited the issuance and selling of virtual assets. Naturally, this negatively affected the crypto market. This drastic change may have resulted from desperate efforts following US sanctions.

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Alo Kingsley is a content writer with 4+ years of experience in writing within the blockchain and cryptocurrency niche. He first discovered Bitcoin in 2016 and has been passionate since then about various ways Blockchain can help Africa and the world at large. He aims to give the crypto space a more geographically balanced narrative as it evolves.

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