The Russian cryptocurrency mining industry is flourishing, causing demand for equipment to skyrocket. According to local news agencies, it has increased 14 times in 2021 compared to previous years.
Local online retailers have seen a huge increase in searches and inquiries about ASIC mining rigs. For instance, online marketplace Avito registered 117,000 roubles ($15,000) spent on mining equipment. The most searched brands were Antminer and Whatsminer. Their search frequency increased by 11 and 23 times, respectively.
The huge increase in demand also led to a shortage of graphics cards in the local market. Due to the lack of supply, their average monthly sales dropped by 15.8%. Nevertheless, the market made 129.6% more profit thanks to significant price increases.
Unfortunately, this rapid rise in popularity has its downsides. The rising demand for mining equipment for cryptocurrencies has led to an increase in fraudulent activity. As reported by CoinIdol, a world blockchain news outlet, Russian citizens have lost around $30,000 in just 3 days to scammers offering fake equipment or premises to set up mining farms.
Currently, such fraudulent activities are registered mainly in the Irkutsk region, which has become a center of the Russian cryptocurrency mining industry due to favorable electricity prices. In fact, the availability of energy resources has brought Russia to the forefront of the industry after China banned mining completely.
Nevertheless, Russia may soon follow China's lead. In its latest report, the country's Central Bank advises banning investments in cryptocurrencies due to the high risks involved. If the government follows this advice, citizens will lose the ability to buy and invest in cryptocurrencies. This, in turn, could also result in the decline of the mining industry.