Forty companies from China and the European Union have reportedly applied to mine bitcoin in Russia, president of the Russian Association of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (RACIB), Yuri Pripachkin, told Ria Novosti.

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RACIB has received 40 applications from companies based in European Union countries and in China. The applicants are interested in starting bitcoin mining operations in Russia, RACIB president Yuri Pripachkin told Ria Novosti.

“In Russia, the number of such factories [note: mining farms] is already in the hundreds, and our country has energy resources that can be sold to miners effectively,” Pripachkin said.

According to Pripachkin, “Russia has every chance of becoming the world capital of mining”.

“In fact, this is a new market for energy companies, and it is important to prepare a legislative basis, and possible preferential taxation for such foreign investors,” the RACIB official added.

RACIB was established in August of 2017 to unite blockchain entrepreneurs, cryptocurrency investors and miners. The association was put in place by President Vladimir Putin’s counselor on Internet issues, Herman Klimenko.

Per Ria Novosti, RACIB is actively working with participants in the mining market to put together a series of proposals aimed at increasing the investment attractiveness of mining in Russia.

“The recommendations will be forwarded to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.”

Mine bitcoin in Russia: Plenty of free capacity, low electricity prices

As of December 31, 2016, the combined capacity of power plants in Russia totaled 244.1 GW, Ministry of Energy data showed. The maximum load during that time was only 154.3 GW.

“When considering the current free capacity of Russian energy companies of about 100 GW, the attracted investments into the economy will be about 1.7 trillion rubles [note: roughly $30 billion USD] a year,” Pripachkin explained.

According to recent data, the cost of electricity for industrial users in certain regions of the country can be as low as under 7 rubles per kWh (under $0.12 USD).

Russia warms up to cryptocurrency affairs

After considering a regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies throughout 2017, Russian authorities seem to have taken a 180-degree turn.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently spoken in favor of legalizing cryptocurrency trading in the country. Putin has also reportedly ordered officials to speed up the development of the Kremlin-backed CryptoRuble, a cryptocurrency that is expected to help Russia avoid international sanctions and carry out “sensitive activity on behalf of the state”.

Additionally, Russia’s Central Bank has recently launched an initiative to create a common cryptocurrency to be used by BRICS countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Foreign companies have applied to mine bitcoin in Russia – Image source: imgur

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