Russia has a complicated relationship with Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies, but Vladimir Putin’s latest statements on the subject are rather encouraging. With the prospect of a thaw in this cold war, large industrialists in the Russian gas and oil sectors are expressing their desire to get into bitcoin mining.
Russia, the new land of crypto mining after China?
The position between banning and tolerating cryptocurrencies in Russia can be quite perplexing. Yet, hostility towards Bitcoin and digital assets is clearly less radical there than in its neighbor, China.
Moreover, where Xi Jinping’s country has violently banned Bitcoin miners, voices are being heard in Vladimir Putin’s country to, conversely, further develop crypto-mining activities – which are not banned there, by the way.
As reported by the Russian business newspaper Kommersant on October 20, oil and gas companies even want to get permission to mine cryptos using the surplus natural gas that is currently being wasted in oil drilling.
Thanks to Bitcoin, no more wasted energy?
In this request to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the industrialists explain that these natural gases, as a by-product of oil wells, are currently not exploited, as their transportation is not profitable.
However, this gas could generate energy on the spot, at the point of oil extraction. Professionals would like to develop computer centers in the immediate vicinity of the exploitation wells, in order to host bitcoin mining machines.
This request would thus be currently “in discussion with regulators”, as the Central Bank of Russia is still working on its regulatory approach, to accept a possible crypto-economy (at least partial) in the Slavic country.
Will Russia manage to get out of this gray area where Bitcoin and crypto-currencies, although legally recognized, are still rather poorly accepted? In any case, on the North American side, there are clearly fewer questions about taking full advantage of China’s abandonment of crypto-mining. Apart from Canada, those who exploit this juicy vein the most are mainly the United States, which has already become the new superpower of bitcoin mining.