Bitcoin miners put Kazakhstan’s energy supply at risk

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As a result of the crackdown on crypto mining in China, many miners have migrated to neighboring countries such as Russia and Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is now the second largest contributor to the global Bitcoin hashrate, after only the United States.

This resulted in energy problems in areas that were primarily targeted by miners. As a result, Russia intends to increase energy tariffs for mining activity. The use of fossil fuels in Bitcoin mining has raised environmental concerns in the United States, while the influence on greenhouse gas emissions is questionable.

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Kazakhstan has now followed suit in expressing concerns about the security of its power grid, to the point that Deputy Energy Minister Murat Zhurebekov has said that addressing these issues “can no longer be delayed.” Crypto mining in Kazakhstan is expected to require 1.2 gigawatts of power, which is roughly 8% of the country’s overall energy production.

The majority of the Energy Department’s concerns come from unregistered “gray” miners, who are often individuals who keep their mining rigs in their basements. Some of the largest undeclared mining activities are housed in abandoned factories.

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Zhurebekov intends to create a new directive to limit the energy consumption of gray miners. He did not say how authorities plan to find these mines, but satellites that track thermal signatures of mining platforms could be an alternative.

Some gray miners have expressed interest in enrolling, although they may be put off by taxes and additional expenses. A tax of 0.23 US cents per kW / h on top of the usual price of energy has already passed legislative process. It is expected to come into effect in January 2022 for registered white mining companies.


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