Irkutskenergosbyt is the company responsible for the power supply in the Russian province of Irkutsk. Officials from Irkutskenergosbyt recently moved to court to sue cryptocurrency miners who operated on domestic energy supply in Irkutsk. The energy supplier has already moved many individual cases to court and won most of them. Over the course of 2021, Irkutskenergosbyt has taken 85 cases to court. The claim amounts are estimated to be around $980,000 in the Russian ruble. Out of these 85 cases, they have already won 9. Irkutskenergosbyt has already received around $250,000 from the 9 cases it won and looks likely to win most of the pending cases.
Using domestic energy sources for cryptocurrency mining is a pervasive problem. In the past, Kazakhstan and Iran had faced similar problems. However, none of these countries moved to court the way the Russian power supplier has. Instead, the common practice is to seize mining equipment and disrupt mining activities in select regions. With Irkutskenergosbyt’s move, the company will not only stop illegal miners but also get compensation for their losses. While the judiciary system in Russia allows this provision, not all courts do.
The problem with illegal mining also stems from the fact that mining equipment is easily available and can be set up anywhere. That has driven many people to secretly mine from home without paying for commercial electricity charges. Whether other energy suppliers follow Irkutskenergosbyt’s footsteps is the biggest question for crypto miners now.