Aluminum Plant in Erstwhile USSR Turned into Datacenter Aiding Bitcoin Mining
BitRiver, Russia’s largest data center opened a year ago in Bratsk, a Siberian city, is being used by a majority of its customers to mine Bitcoin (BTC).
The data center facilitates crypto miners to benefit from the availability of low cost power provided to the site which was the world’s largest aluminium smelting facility at once upon a time.
The plant was established by the erstwhile USSR in the 1960s and run using hydropower. The active power plant is now powering the data center.
As the data center is located in a cold region, mining hardware is functioning efficiently, while minimizing cooling related expenses. Oleg Deripaska, billionaire and president of the world’s second-largest aluminum enterprise Rusal, is the largest stake holder in Bitriver.
Oleg Deripaska had the plan of establishing a data center roughly five years back and ordered his enterprise Rusal along with aluminum and power producer En+ to modify the facilities.
Bloomberg has pointed out that Russian law does not endorse crypto mining. Therefore, Bitriver does not take part in mining straight away, but only offers hardware and technical facilities to its customers, including those from Japan, US and China.
Deripaska owns 45% stake in En+, which provides a maximum of 100 megawatts of power to the data center, sufficient enough for 100,000 homes. The largest hydropower plant also sells the surplus power to other clients.
BitRiver pays 2.4 rubles per kilowatt-hour, translating to $0.038 excluding VAT (value-added tax) and offer it to clients at 3.5 rubles ($0.055) per kilowatt-hour to miners. Relatively, in the US, electricity is offered at $0.12 per kilowatt-hour.
Earlier last week, price of cryptos declined sharply, with Bitcoin dipping below $7,000. Nevertheless, miners are eagerly looking forward to boost their mining capacity.
Crypto enthusiast and Bitcoin entrepreneur Alistair Milne stated that “There is NO miner capitulation,” despite an increase in network hash rate and anticipated difficulty hike. He stated “They are acutely aware of the upcoming halving and are apparently unphased by the recent dip.”
Notably, Northern Bitcoin, a German Bitcoin mining firm, inked a merger deal with the US based rival firm Whinstone to jointly establish the world’s largest mining farm.