Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy discovered and halted the operations of 13 illegal digital asset mining farms. Those were collectively using an electricity capacity of over 200 megawatts.
War on Illegal Miners
The central Asian country was torn by protests at the beginning of 2022 when thousands of residents occupied the streets to fight against the surging electricity prices.
Shortly after that unrest, Kazakhstan’s government vowed to crack down on unauthorized cryptocurrency miners amid the accusations that they could negatively impact the nation’s energy network. Back then, Minister Bagdat Musin said:
“Gray miners are doing a lot of harm to our power grid. The energy costs of illegal mining are estimated to exceed 1 gigawatt.”
Shortly after, the Energy Ministry came upon and terminated the activities of 13 illicit digital asset mining facilities. Those were located all over the country in regions like Karaganda, Turkestan, Pavlodar, Akmola, and Kostanai.
The authorities further revealed they would continue to identify and disconnect mining farms from the electrical grid, which do not abide by the rules. On the other hand, President Tokayev said “white” miners who act in accordance with the regulations should not be concerned:
“The government is not opposed to “white” miners, but people who want to operate in this sector must have a license, get their electricity at the appropriate tariffs, declare their income and pay taxes, and get involved in green projects.”
Kazakhstan is the second-biggest bitcoin mining location, accounting for 18.1% of the global hash rate. The United States is the only country ahead with 35.4%.
Kosovo Banned Crypto Mining
At the beginning of 2022, the Kosovar government prohibited all cryptocurrency mining endeavors on its territory to curb electricity consumption during the coldest months of the year.
“These actions are aimed at addressing potential unexpected or long term lack of electricity production capacities, capacities of transmission or distribution of energy in order to overcome the energy crisis without further burdening the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo,” the Energy Minister explained back then.
Shortly after, law enforcement agencies seized its first set of mining equipment. Specifically, Kosovo Police and Kosovo Customs confiscated 272 “Antminer” Bitcoin mining machines in the municipality of Leposavic. At the same time, during a separate operation near the capital Prishtina, the authorities seized additional 39 digital asset mining devices, 35 of which were functioning at the time.