- Russia wants a cut of bitcoin miners' profits as the country's hashrate grows.
- Lawmakers have proposed on November 11 to legalize the industry and created a working group to discuss the issue.
- Although mining isn't illegal there, regulatory clarity still lacks and prevents government agencies from capitalizing.
The State Duma, one of the chambers of the Russian parliament and legislative authority, has proposed to legalize bitcoin mining as the country becomes a prominent nation in the industry. The proposal was made by the first deputy chairman of the committee on security and anti-corruption, Andrey Lugovoi, at a plenary session on November 11.
"We have prepared a bill and we will introduce it without fail," he said.
Lugovoi presented the proposal on the basis that miners currently profit over $2 billion per year but don't share gains with the state due to the lack of regulatory clarity around taxation for the industry. In addition, the deputy said that clear legislation could help law enforcement.
"Due to the lack of regulation and the turnover of cryptocurrency, law enforcement agencies generally fall into a dead end, since they cannot establish signs of a crime in the activities of individuals and make the necessary procedural decisions," Lugovoi said.
Lugovoi then proposed the creation of an inter-committee working group to discuss the issue, prompting the chairman of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, to direct his deputy, Aleksei Gordeyev, to create such a group to be headed by Lugovoi.
Russia has been capitalizing on the bitcoin mining ban on China, after which the nation has become the third-largest BTC miner in the world and is on pace to overtake Kazakhstan.
"When it comes to proof of work mining, there's nowhere better suited than Russia's Siberia Irkutsk region, where most mining in Russia takes place," Jesse Willms reported for Bitcoin Magazine. "Its abundance of stranded hydroelectric power (estimates are only 20% is used now) makes it a destination of choice for environmentally conscious miners."