Former Gulag in Russian Arctic Bids to Become Bitcoin Mining Hotspot


A Russian firm is set to open a hotel with a difference in the Arctic Circle – although it isn’t the kind most folks would ever dream of visiting. Instead it’s a crypto mining “hotel” fitted with ASIC bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs and powered with 11.2 MW of electrical energy.

In a uniquely crypto-themed twist, the Norilsk-based “hotel” will be housed in facilities owned and formerly operated by Norilsk Nickel, a company (fronted by Russia’s richest man Vladimir Potanin) that is working on the launch of a government-approved tokenized metals trading platform.

Built on permafrost in the 1930s, Norilsk is one of the world’s most northerly permanent human settlements – and was the center 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 appears 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,

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