A company in Russia has plans for a hotel with a unique variation in the Arctic Circle – despite the fact that it isn’t the kind most folks would ever dream of visiting. Rather, it’s a crypto mining “hotel” equipped with exceptionally high-end ASIC bitcoin (BTC) mining machines with high powered 11.2 MW of electrical energy.
A specially crypto-themed unique idea, the Norilsk-based “hotel” will be lodge in facilities owned and previously operated by Norilsk Nickel, a firm (overlooked by Russia’s richest man Vladimir Potanin) that is running on the launch of a government-approved tokenized metals trading platform.
Established on the permanently frozen ground during the 1930s, Norilsk is one of the world’s most northerly unchanging human settlements – and was the heart of the region’s Gulag labor camps in Soviet times. Camp residents were put to work mining and smelting nickel and other metal resources in the city. Average yearly temperatures are a frosty -6 to -10°C.
The bitcoin mining project emerges to be the brainchild of Norilsk’s local authorities, which, per media outlet Zapolyarnaya Pravda, hinted that more mining operators could soon be welcomed to the region. The city’s council leader stated,
“Building [mining farms] in the Arctic will attract large investments here. And that will undoubtedly drive up regional growth.”
The premises, run by a new Switzerland-based mining venture called BitCluster, will initially be kitted out with 150 Chinese firm Bitmain’s S19 ASIC rigs.
The media outlet added that BitCluster has entered into a direct agreement with the local energy provider, the Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company.
But, it seems that the city council has been actively pushing for the mining industry to consider Russia’s Arctic Circle territories as a destination – particularly for Chinese miners looking to relocate from the Middle Kingdom.
The municipality council’s chairman Alexander Pestryakov has been actively courting mining interests since 2019, the media outlet added. As cooling expenses are almost non-existent and electricity costs are low, in the past, the only barrier to mining ventures was poor internet connectivity.
Pestryakov declared that high-speed internet infrastructure is now widely available in Norilsk, potentially opening the floodgates for more mining “hotel” initiatives shortly.