Russia has become a world leader in cryptocurrency mining, according to the Kommersant business daily. Citing Bitriver, Russia’s largest bitcoin mining provider, the article reports that Russia’s generating capacity reached 1 gigawatt in January-March 2023, making it the second-largest country in the world for cryptocurrency mining.
While the United States remains by far the world’s largest crypto miner, boasting 3-4 gigawatts of mining capacity, Russia is quickly catching up, with its generating capacity increasing by 500% in the past year.
In taking second place for the first time, Russia has knocked Kazakhstan, which introduced restrictions on crypto mining activities in 2022, down to ninth place, Kommersant cited Bitriver as saying.
China, which banned crypto mining in 2021, did not make Bitriver’s top 10 at all.Bitcoin use is limited in Russia due to restrictive laws on cryptocurrencies including President Vladimir Putin’s 2020 law on digital financial assets, which legalized cryptocurrencies but banned mining.
Cryptocurrencies have been used by Russia in order to bypass sanctions. The United States blacklisted a bitcoin and an ether address in February that it said may have been involved in Russian defense equipment sales abroad. The European Union imposed a total ban on carrying out cryptocurrency transactions with Russian citizens and anyone resident in the country as part of its eighth round of sanctions introduced last year.