Two provinces in the westernmost part of the Russian Federation have expressed willingness to host mega cryptocurrency mining facilities. Kaliningrad and Leningrad, two regions separated by over 900 kilometers are set to get involved in the world of cryptocurrency mining by allowing miners to set up shop within their jurisdictions.
The two provinces want miners to upscale their activities from low-level activities to a much more industrial scale which will be more beneficial for the local economy. Kaliningrad and Leningrad (now commonly known as St. Petersburg) have already begun to request for appropriate regulations from officials in the capital, Moscow.
Speaking to the domestic news agency, RIA Novosti, governor of Kaliningrad, Anton Alihanov said that there are many residents of his province who are cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Speaking at the Russian Investment Forum which began on February 14, 2018, in Sochi. The governor expressed optimism that when fully realized, the plan will make the entire Kaliningrad region to become a major hub for cryptocurrency mining. The governor also noted the complicated nature of the process required to establish such a massive undertaking. He reiterated his commitment to making sure that everything was done right so as not to encounter significant problems in the future.
Potential Agricultural Benefits
Governor Alihanov also went on to point out an additional potential benefit of the plan beyond the cryptocurrency commerce sector. The region has in recent times began to engage in large-scale greenhouse farming which has seen them become a major producer of strawberries. A large part of greenhouse farming is the provision of adequate heat which contributes a considerable percentage of the overhead cost of running greenhouse farms. Cryptocurrency mining is known to produce a large amount of heat which then requires powerful industrial cooling systems to keep the mining rigs from overheating. Governor Alihanov says that crypto mining facilities can be situated adjacent to greenhouse farms so that the heat produced during the mining operations can be used to heat up the farms during the winter months.
Proposed Sites for the Mining Facilities
According to the governor of Leningrad province, Alexandr Drozdenko, there are plans to situate a mining facility in the Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant which is scheduled for decommissioning sometime between the year 2020 and 2021. The Leningrad Atomic Electro-Station initially situated in the Sosnovy Bor area will be replaced with a new power plant. Currently, the Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant produces about half of the electricity consumed in entire northwest Russia. According to Governor Drozdenko, officials of the region’s economic department have already greenlit the move to situate the mining facility in the soon to be decommissioned power plant.
The Road Ahead
All is not quite settled yet as there are still a few hoops to jump through before the plan can become a reality. Speaking on this, Governor Drozdenko identified two key issues that must be taken care of before the project can become a reality. He stated that the decommissioning process for the old power plant must be completed and that Moscow will have to create some favorable regulations that will allow the region to engage in large-scale cryptocurrency mining.
With China, the world’s largest bitcoin mining hub, placing strict restrictions on bitcoin mining, the stage seems set for other countries to occupy the void being created by China. Already, states in America have approved mega mining facility as the race for the last few million bitcoins hots up.