War and bear market forces Japanese crypto miners to flee Russia

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Japan’s largest online broker is packing up its crypto mining operations in Russia due to uncertainty caused by the Ukraine-Russia war and ongoing crypto rut.

As reported by Bloomberg, SBI Holdings has announced this week that it will be moving out of the Siberia region famed for its abundant hydro power and cold temperatures suited for crypto mining.

A spokesperson told the outlet that SBI’s Siberia exit is due to the uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the dwindling profits being made through crypto mining.   

The broker plans to sell off its mining hardware and abandon all mining operations, however, SBI hasn’t decided exactly when it will stop its mining in Siberia.  

While SBI is calling time on its Siberian operation, a spokesperson said that the broker will keep its Moscow-based banking unit operational. 

Read more: Russian crypto mining firm BitRiver takes a swing at US Treasury

SBI Holdings may also be feeling pressure from the United States. Last month, Japan’s financial regulators warned crypto firms to cut ties with Russia following international sanctions. 

  • US diplomats asked the country to cease all Siberian crypto mining operations.
  • 31 Japanese crypto exchanges were told to cut off services to Russian users. 
  • Japan’s Financial Services Agency told crypto exchanges in March to watch for any transactions linked to sanctioned individuals.

Bloomberg reports that SBI’s crypto asset business reported pre-tax losses of 9.7 billion yen or $72 million by June 30, four months after the war began.

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