In a bold move defying international sanctions, BitRiver, the Bitcoin mining behemoth, is gearing up to open the doors to the largest artificial intelligence (AI) data center in Russia by the latter half of 2024. This facility is expected to be a cornerstone for energy-intensive computations across Eurasia.

A Gargantuan Leap for AI and Computing

The upcoming Bitriver-B data center, an ambitious project under the BitRiver Group umbrella, is slated to boast a whopping capacity of 100 megawatts. Sergey Bezdelov, the director of the Association of Industrial Mining, sheds light on the scale of this endeavor, emphasizing its significance as the premier data center in both the Republic of Buryatia and the Far Eastern Federal District, with an investment pouring over 1.4 billion rubles (approximately $15.1 million).

Surmounting Sanctions

Despite the shadow of sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department, BitRiver is steaming ahead with its investment project. In April 2022, the U.S. government targeted BitRiver and several of its subsidiaries, placing them on the sanctions list for their contributions to the technology sector of the Russian economy, in a bid to cut off Russia from the international financial system. However, the sanctions have not deterred the firm’s plans, as it continues to capitalize on Russia’s natural resources and cold climate—factors that give the nation an edge in crypto mining.

Powering the Future of Tech

Bezdelov envisions a burgeoning future for high-performance computing in Russia, particularly as AI becomes more integrated into various sectors. By 2035, he predicts that the industry will require several tens of gigawatts to accommodate the growth. The BitRiver data center is set to cater to a myriad of energy-hungry operations, including cryptocurrency mining, cloud computing services, and AI functionalities.

This development comes as a significant indicator of the increasing interest in cryptocurrency and AI technologies within Russian industries, including major oil companies. BitRiver’s initiative may well be a stepping stone towards Russia’s technological self-sufficiency in an era of heightened geopolitical tensions.

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