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Russia seems to want to mine Bitcoin using flare gas

Russia seems to want to mine Bitcoin using flare gas

Gazprom, a Russian gas company, is one of the biggest carbon emitters in the world. It wants to reduce its carbon impact by giving Bitcoin miners flare gas.

Even though the Russian government isn’t sure it wants to regulate cryptocurrency trade and payments, it keeps building relationships with important people in the cryptocurrency mining business.

Gazprom Neft, which is owned by the Russian government, has teamed up with BitRiver, which is Russia’s leading crypto-mining colocation services provider, to host large crypto-mining operations. Gazprom will give BitRiver’s partner data centers electricity made from petroleum gas, the companies said on June 16.

As part of the deal, BitRiver will build a digital infrastructure based on the oil fields, and Gazprom will provide crypto mining services using flare gas.

Vadim Yakovlev, who is the first deputy CEO of Gazprom, said that working with digital assets is not part of the company’s business plan. He said that the goal of the gas giant is to get the most out of its energy resources so that “new methods of productive use of associated petroleum gas” can be found.

“Reducing our carbon footprint is an essential component of Gazprom Neft’s ESG policy. […] By combining technologies and competencies with partners, we create the best industry practices for the efficient and environmentally friendly use of natural resources.”

Gazprom is one of Russia’s biggest oil and gas companies. It is also one of the top gas suppliers to the European Union. As of 2019, the oil giant was thought to be the third biggest source of carbon emissions in the world.

According to the release, flare gas-powered crypto mining projects are especially important when they are used in new oil fields with no gas transmission infrastructure. Another idea is to put these kinds of projects on remote oil fields in Siberia, where there is extra power and flare gas logistics are not profitable.

BitRiver’s founder and CEO, Igor Runets, said that the new agreement with Gazprom is part of the company’s ambitious plan to increase its total power capacity to 2 gigatonnes in the next two years.

The Russian government once thought about a plan to use petroleum gas to mine Bitcoin in October 2021.

Russia is a major player in both the global energy markets and the mining of Bitcoin (BTC). As of August 2021, the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index said that the country had the third highest BTC hash rate in the world. Russia’s BTC hash rate dropped from 13.6 EH/s in August 2021 to 8.6 EH/s in January 2022, putting it in fifth place on the index.

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