Russia Tightens Grip on Cryptocurrency Mining

  • Sergey Maga
  • 11:31 Mar 20, 2023
Russia Tightens Grip on Cryptocurrency Mining

Recently, Russian authorities shut down multiple illegal cryptocurrency mining operations across the country. Equipment was confiscated and the operators were sued. These raids come as discussions are underway to introduce criminal liability for miners who break upcoming industry legislation.

In Stavropol Krai, Rosseti North Caucasus employees, along with law enforcement, discovered a large mining farm in the Shpakovsky district. They seized 66 ASIC miners, and the operator now faces potential criminal charges. The facility reportedly consumed 954,000 kWh of electricity, costing over 6 million rubles ($78,000).

Meanwhile, in Shelekhov, Irkutsk Oblast, police found a mining installation in a school attic following reports of high electricity consumption and noise. The school’s electrician and an IT specialist were responsible for installing 25 mining units. The Siberian region is known for numerous similar cases, with over 1,000 lawsuits filed against at-home crypto miners in Irkutsk.

In another case, the Tomsk Prosecutor’s Office has approved an indictment against seven residents for illegally connecting crypto mining equipment to the power grid, causing estimated damages of 24 million rubles (over $310,000) to the power supplier.

These crackdowns come as Russian officials prepare to resubmit a revised bill aimed at regulating the cryptocurrency mining sector. The proposed amendments include criminal liability and severe penalties for “gray” miners who avoid taxation.

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