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Sanctioned Bitcoin mining firm BitRiver to launch largest data center for AI in Russia

sanctioned-bitcoin-mining-firm-bitriver-to-launch-largest-data-center-for-ai-in-russia
Edited by
News
Sanctioned Bitcoin mining firm BitRiver to launch largest data center for AI in Russia

BitRiver, a Bitcoin mining company targeted by OFAC sanctions, is set to launch Russia’s largest data center for artificial intelligence (AI) in H2 2024.

Bitriver-B, a subsidiary of BitRiver Group, is set to launch the largest data center for energy-intensive computations in Eurasia in the second half of 2024, Russia‘s government news agency Prime reports. The expected capacity of the data center is said to be 100 megawatts, as reported by Sergey Bezdelov, director of the Association of Industrial Mining.

“This is the largest facility among all data centers in the Republic of Buryatia and the Far Eastern Federal District. As of today, BitRiver’s investments in the project exceed 1.4 billion rubles [~$15.1 million].”

Sergey Bezdelov

The report points out that BitRiver will complete the implementation of the investment project in Russia, even despite the company being included in the U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions list.

Bezdelov highlighted the potential growth of high-performance and energy-intensive computing in Russia, particularly with the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). He also projected that by 2035, the sector could demand several tens of gigawatts. The data center is expected to focus on high-performance energy-intensive computations such as crypto mining, cloud services, and AI operations.

In April 2022, the U.S. government added BitRiver along with several of its subsidiaries to its sanctions list for operating in the technology sector of the Russian economy in an effort to isolate Russia from the global financial system. The U.S. Treasury said in a press release that crypto mining companies help Russia monetize its natural resources, noting that Russia has a “comparative advantage in crypto mining due to energy resources and a cold climate.”