SBI continues to operate some mining activities in Russia, despite having ended all mining operations in Siberia, Russia’s most-mineralized region.
Due to geopolitical uncertainty, and the crypto winter, SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial giant, has partially ended cryptocurrency mining in Russia.
SBI Holdings has suspended mining operations in Russia’s crypto-mining-rich Siberia region. This was due to the Russia-Ukraine Conflict and the ongoing bear markets, Bloomberg reported.
According to a spokesperson, the Japanese online brokerage closed down the Siberian mining operations after Russia launched a military intervention against Ukraine on February 24, according to a spokesperson.
SBI’s crypto assets business suffered a pretax loss in Q2202 of 9.7 billion Japanese yen ($71million) due to the termination. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, which backs the group, reported a loss of 2.4 billion yen ($17.5million) in net income, its first quarterly loss in a decade.
According to SBI’s crypto mining subsidiary SBI Crypto, the reports about SBI’s Siberia mining suspensions correspond with public mining information. Data from blockchain explorer BTC.com shows that SBI Crypto’s mining rate dropped by 40% from 5,600 petahashes/second (PH/S), in mid-February, to 3,300 PH/S as of Aug. 18, 2022.
According to Bloomberg, SBI is still operating some mining activities in Russia despite closing Siberian mining operations. Hideyuki Katsuchi, SBI’s chief financial officers, reportedly revealed the company’s plans to sell crypto mining hardware in order to withdraw completely from the country earlier this week.
According to a spokesperson for SBI, the company has not yet decided when it will withdraw from Siberia. SBI Bank, a Moscow-based commercial bank unit, plans to continue operating its Russian-based crypto business.
As previously reported, Russia was the third-largest producer of BTC hash rates and one of the largest crypto mining countries in the world last year. As China returned to the top 3 mining nations early in 2022, Russia quickly lost its hashrate leadership. Many miners chose to stay away from Russia because of geopolitical uncertainty.
The U.S. imposed sanctions on BitRiver, Russia’s largest crypto data center provider, in April 2022. The U.S. Treasury Department placed sanctions on BitRiver. BitRiver was Russia’s largest crypto data centre provider and had been involved with major imports from other countries. To avoid sanctions, some U.S. mining firms like Compass Mining sought to liquidate $30 Million worth of crypto mining hardware in Siberia.