Home-based crypto mining won’t be banned in Russia, hints Ministry of Finance official

Mohadesa Najumi

As Russia continues to work on new regulations for its cryptocurrency industry, a high-ranking representative of the Ministry of Finance in Moscow has revealed that the department is currently finalising regulations for the mining sector.

This comes as the Russian Ministry of Finance expressed fresh support for Bitcoin (BTC) mining this week.

According to Alexey Yakovlev, deputy director of the Financial Policy Department at the Ministry of Finance, there is no point in banning crypto mining in Russian households as it would be hard to restrict the activity.

Yakovlev made the statement during a video conference call devoted to the legalisation and regulation of the crypto industry.

Yakovlev went on to say that lawmakers are working on the Russian crypto regulation bill and are planning to minimise potential risks such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

The ministry is now finalising new provisions that would bring at-home crypto mining into the legal field as Russian authorities intend to ensure activities in the sector are economically feasible.

Cryptocurrency mining has become a popular source of income for many ordinary Russians, especially in rural areas like Irkutsk where household electricity rates start as low as $0.01 per kWh. Data shows that companies providing electricity supplies in the Irkutsk region have reported a fourfold increase in power consumption in 2021 over the previous year.

As a result, the central government in Moscow has permitted Russian regions to determine electricity rates in residential areas locally. This will allow regional authorities and utility companies to introduce higher tariffs for household consumption exceeding certain thresholds.

Russia currently ranks as the third largest country by its BTC mining hash rate as of August 2021.

Furthermore, the number of cases involving theft of mining rigs has also increased exponentially. Last year, 344 such crimes were registered in the region, with losses amounting to 160 million rubles or $2.1 million.

Russia’s Finance Ministry officially filed the first paperwork related to the country’s new crypto regulation bill in mid-February this year.