Despite the increasing difficulty in mining bitcoins, interest in the activity has increased since 2019. Low Bitcoin price seen since last year has not discouraged miners as one would have expected. Recent development from Russia shows that this trend is not abating anytime soon.
Dimitry Marinichev, Russia’s internet ombudsman and founder of Russian Mining Company (RMC), this week revealed plans to reposition a metal company for use in bitcoin mining.
According to reports by Russian media, Moscow Times, an aluminum company owned by Russian metal giant Rusal, which has been producing below capacity due to US sanctions would have its facility adapted for bitcoin generation.
The Nadvoitsy Aluminum Plant located in Russia’s Karelia region lost access to its American customers summer. U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) placed Rusal under sanctions in April 2018 as a result of its ownership by Oleg Deripaska, a businessman close to the Kremlin who the U.S. Treasury named a “Designated Russian Oligarch.”
The facility would soon be put to productive use according to Marinichev. He alluded to the plan that would bring back economic activity to a town that has depended on it for jobs.
“Now the plant is unprofitable for Rusal, the electricity supplied to it is barely utilized, and people living in the single-industry town near the plant have nowhere to work,”
He stated that the approach would entail repurposing the plant and selling computer power.
Due to the scope of work and capacity of the plant which has not been utilizing electricity allocated to it, the project would be done in conjunction with UK based Cryptonex. The project would generate $100 million a month based on current price of Bitcoin. It would also ensure that the facility mines 20 percent of bitcoins or one-fifth of all the coins generated.
China presently dominates Bitcoin hashrate while Russia mines one-tenth of bitcoins. With increased interest by Russia, the race may be on for the last of the coins.
RMC, Marinichev’s own setup has mined bitcoins from a former car-making factory so he is no stranger to repurposing factories. The Rusal aluminum works project conversion though is in its own league.