Russian region struggles to keep up with Bitcoin mining energy demands

By  (contrib. Fatstack)
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Seven Boeing 737 aircrafts “fully loaded with mining devices from China” arrived in Irkutsk during the first two weeks of January, a local energy executive said.

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As cryptocurrency mining activity grows increasingly common in Russia, one local region is struggling to maintain power stability amid massive inflows of new crypto mining operations.

Russia’s Irkutsk Oblast, a federal region and Russia’s major center of trade routes from China, experienced a fourfold increase in energy consumption in 2021 due to mining activities, local news agency TASS reported on Wednesday.

Yevgeny Vechkanov, head of technology and development at the local energy firm Irkutsk Electric Networks, linked the rapid growth of crypto mining operations to the major crypto rally in 2021 as well as China’s cryptocurrency ban enforced in September. “These factors exacerbated the situation, triggering energy use quadrupling compared to 2020,” he said.

Vechkanov added that local people have been installing crypto mining farms at home and at their dachas en masse, triggering increased energy consumption and frequent power grid outages. . . .