Japan’s largest online brokerage, SBI Holdings, will shut down its Bitcoin mining operations in Russia, citing concerns over sanctions.
Per a report by Bloomberg, SBI Holdings, Japan’s leading financial service company will close its cryptocurrency mining operations in Russia. A spokesperson for SBI said that overall uncertainty over the future prospects of the mining industry in Siberia following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the main concern for its decision. The overall market downturn in the digital asset sector also influenced the company’s decision as the Bitcoin mining business became less profitable.
SBI Holding’s crypto mining subsidiary, SBI Crypto, has been mining cryptos on mining farms outside of Japan since 2017 and opened its mining pool to the public in March 2021. SBI’s Bitcoin mining pool ranks 11th globally and provides 1.2% to the network’s hash rate. In addition to mining Bitcoin, the company also mines Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash. Crypto miners have flocked to Russia to take advantage of low-cost power from natural gas and hydropower dams, making it a popular destination outside North America after Beijing banned crypto mining in May 2021.
SBI Holdings’ Chief Financial Officer, Hideyuki Katsuchi, said that the firm will sell its mining equipment but has not disclosed when it would complete its withdrawal. The firm suspended mining operations in February when the war broke out. Although the company will no longer have any mining rigs after the pull-out, it has said that its bank, SBI Bank LLC, will keep operating in Moscow without disruptions. Since the halt on mining, the company reported a pretax loss of 9.7 billion yen ($72 million) in the three months ended June 30.
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