The Antimonopoly Service of Russia has suggested that Russians minting digital currencies in their homes should pay more for the electrical energy consumed. The proposal comes after the Russian parliament submitted a bill tailored to regulate cryptocurrency mining.

Russian miners using household electricity should pay higher bills, anti-monopoly agency says

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has developed a system to charge amateur crypto miners increased tariffs for the electricity they use. The agency insists its approach to solving the problem of rising consumption in residential areas, also due to the growing popularity of mining, can reduce the strain on power grids.

Authorities in the Russian Federation maintain different electricity tariffs depending on the status and location of consumers, the daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta explains in an article. Businesses subsidize household prices through their own tariffs, which can be up to two times higher than tariffs for the general population.

Home consumers often try to take advantage of their low tariffs to make money by providing electricity for everything from auto repair shops to woodworking shops, the energy user community notes. As a result, grids in residential areas are congested because they are not designed to handle the excessive power consumption that has also skyrocketed due to home mining.

The FAS now wants to introduce a threshold for electricity consumption, above which higher tariffs will be charged. According to the Antimonopoly Service, this separates the needs of households from those of businesses. The consumption of various household appliances, including those with increased power consumption, such as air conditioners, is taken into account.

Each Russian region will be able to set the amount of electricity that will be supplied at preferential prices, taking into account factors such as electricity consumption for heating in the cold months and the length of the heating season, the FAS stressed. In December, the federal government allowed regional authorities to independently set local electricity tariffs.

Electricity grids in residential areas of many regions with historically low electricity prices, such as Irkutsk Oblast, Krasnoyarsk Territory and Dagestan, have collapsed due to the proliferation of improvised crypto-mining farms minting coins in basements and garages.

The introduction of differentiated tariffs is likely to reduce interest in mining and other earning opportunities at the expense of subsidized household electricity. The agency hopes the new approach can also reduce the cost of production for companies, which is included in the prices of their goods and services, and ultimately suppress inflation.

The proposal comes as Russian lawmakers review a new cryptocurrency mining bill. The legislation aims to regulate industry in the country, which is rich in cheap energy resources and favorable climatic conditions. Its competitive advantages could potentially make Russia a global mining leader, officials have acknowledged.

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What do you think about the new electricity prices that will affect crypto miners in Russia? Tell us in the comment section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchen’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Along with crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and business are two other sources of inspiration.

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