Bitriver, Russia’s Largest Bitcoin Data Center Is Making Waves
By Mark Lemon – Cryptocurrency Professional
It's been over a year since Russia's largest Bitcoin data center Bitriver opened up and has secured clients from many countries around the world including China, the United States, and Japan. A lot of these mine and sell Bitcoin to generate capital.
The company carries out its operations in a building near the Bratsk aluminum plant as reported by Bloomberg. This plant was the world's largest aluminum smelter built by the USSR using the nearby hydropower plant as a source of energy during the 1960s. Since then, Russia has looked for alternative uses for this energy, which has resulted in many mining in the area and subsequently selling Bitcoin for operational costs.
Another thing that makes Bratsk a suitable crypto mining location is the Siberian climate due to its long, cold winters. This helps cool the data center equipment to help it run efficiently. Mining farms in warmer locations will incur greater overheads for cooling equipment.
The idea of building the data center in Bratsk came from billionaire Oleg Deripaska and his team over five years ago. The Bratsk aluminum and hydropower plants are owned by En+ Group Plc as well as its unit United Co. Rusal.
Interestingly, Bitriver isn't engaged in data mining itself as Russian law doesn't recognize such activities but does provide equipment at the data center as well as technical services. This means that Bitriver does not mine and sell Bitcoin to fund their activities.
Deripaska’s companies had gone for about 10 months being sanctioned before coming to an agreement with U.S. Treasury to reduce his control. The penalties were officially lifted back in January of this year, however, continuing sanctions on En+ have caused trouble for crypto miners.
Every year, En+ supplies the Bitriver data center with over 100 MW of power in order to expand its client base and sell excess energy. Affordable but stable power is also essential for crypto mining. If En+ continues to receive sanctions, they may not be able to provide the consistent energy needed for Bitcoin Mining. Bitriver and En+ also operate a venture that sells computer racks to crypto miners showing their endorsement of the industry.
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