A bitcoin mining firm in Russia has suddenly become a major player at one go after importing a staggering 20,000 machines from Asia.
According to the experts, this is the largest batch of mining machines to be imported to the Eastern European country.
Russia welcomes a big batch
Igor Runets, the CEO and Founder of BitRiver told local media that the delivery of the 20,000 machines took place in one batch in December last year and the miners were immediately set up to start mining operations in Bratsk – a city that hosts one of Russia’s largest hydropower stations.
Runets added that the mining equipment has a total capacity of 70MW
BitRiver is a Moscow-based “hosting services and turnkey solutions for large-scale cryptocurrency mining operations” for institutional investors around the world.
Media reports estimate that the batch, delivered in 14 trucks, is priced between $40 million and $60 million.
BitRiver did not disclose where the mining equipment was purchased from or who the buyer is.
Evgeny Vlasov, head of Comino, a firm that manufactures mining equipment and game consoles said that the import of such a batch is not surprising because Russia produces a lot of electricity.
Crypto mining uncertainty in Russia
Russia’s cryptocurrency mining industry is swimming in uncertain territory. The country adopted a new crypto law “On Digital Financial Assets” last month but the law does not provide regulatory clarity on bitcoin mining.
In September last year, the country proposed to ban local crypto miners from getting paid for their crypto mining activities.
A Russian expert in crypto, Sergey Troshin said that the buyer of the 20,000 mining machines likely has “permission to mine at a high level” as it is risky to important such a large batch of equipment.
Alexander Brazhnikov, the executive director of the Russian Association of Cryptoeconomics, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (RACIB) said the country can be a major player if cryptocurrency mining is legalized.
He added that there are 8 million Russian citizens involved in the cryptocurrency industry, either as owners of digital assets or as miners.
The import comes at a time when the cryptocurrency market is in a bullish phase with bitcoin trading above $45K at the time of writing.