When asked to think of Siberia I would expect the majority of you would envision barren and remote tundra, snowy plains interspersed with frozen lakes and tall pines.
The American travel writer Ian Frazier once said, “Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place.”
It’s perhaps one of the last places on earth that you would expect to be the home of an emergent crypto industry.
But, that is where you would be wrong.
Russian crypto mining firm CryptoUniverse is planning to open a facility in the remote province in mid-2019.
Not only offering crypto mining, it will act as a data center for artificial intelligence, big data and companies operating in the Internet of Things space.
So, why is Siberia so suited to crypto mining?
Firstly, the climate in the region is perfect to house the energy-intensive industry. In order to mine crypto, a user must purchase dedicated computer hardware with a graphical processing unit (GPU) chip or application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).
They have to also buy a device to cool the hardware, a constantly running internet connection and a mining software package. All of these devices generate an enormous amount of heat.
So much so that the Paris-based firm Qarnot Computing has developed a ‘crypto heater’, called the QC-1, that uses the heat generated from mining crypto to heat homes at the same time.
Others have gone further. A Canadian entrepreneur, Bruce Hardy, ..