Bitriver is a mining farm founded in the city of Bratsk, located in the Siberian region. The data center benefits from the Siberian climate to help keep its equipment refrigerated.
The company Bitriver operates in a building a few kilometers from the Bratsk hydroelectric dam in Siberia, Russia. It is a data center dedicated exclusively to the mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Currently, Bitriver is considered the largest mining farm in all of Russia, due to its excellent geographical location.
Bitriver was founded in 2018 by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who chairs one of the most important aluminum companies in the world, RUSAL. According to Bitriver representatives, Deripaska has been planning to build a mining farm for five years, but his project was affected by US sanctions.
The company is not dedicated to mining per se since its representatives are not the ones that mine the blockchain but offer their services to third parties. For this reason, Bitriver is described as a data center that provides access to mining equipment and technical services to third parties. Differentiation is made because cryptocurrencies are not really of legal course in Russia and they were even banned for a time.
Currently, Bitriver has customers in the United States, China, Japan, India, and even Brazil, which primarily mine Bitcoin. The company has stated that it operates with an electric capacity of 30 MW, which it plans to expand to 50MW shortly. For the first quarter of 2020, Bitriver plans to offer a capacity of 100 MW.
Ace in the Hole
Bitriver is a mining farm considered favored due to the conditions in which it was created. Deripaska has a large investment capital and good government connections and its project have a clear objective of positioning itself in the industry. For example, the entrepreneur also launched a parallel Bitriver company that provides structures, known as racks, to store and locate miners.
However, the proper functioning of the Russian mining farm does not depend solely on Oleg Deripaska, but rather on its geographical location. Bitriver is located in the city of Bratsk, in the province of Irkutsk in Siberia. An average annual temperature of -2 degrees Celsius is recorded in this area, which represents a favorable climatic condition for mining activities.
When the mining equipment is working, it releases a lot of heat, so it requires a cooling system to avoid damage. Therefore, some mining farms must invest in the installation of a special system for miners and pay extra electricity to cool the devices. Establishments located in cold places take advantage of the air in the area to keep their equipment refrigerated, thus reducing their operational costs and increasing their profits.
There is a high number of mining farms around the world that prefer cold places to mine cryptocurrencies, such as Iceland, Kazakhstan, Canada, and Russia. Likewise, they also prefer renewable energy such as hydroelectric power, since it is the cheapest. Bitriver also meets this trend, since it feeds on the dam of the city of Bratsk.
The Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Plant, built in the 1960s, is one of the largest in the world, providing Bitriver with up to 100 MW of power for cryptocurrency mining. The company also sells the surplus of monthly energy at cheaper rates, thus reducing the cost of mining. In addition to the low electricity rates, Bitriver benefits because this hydroelectric plant works all year long.
By Willmen Blanco