Amid Electricity Shortages, Kosovo Government Places Ban On Crypto Mining
Kosovo has banned crypto mining on Tuesday in an effort to reduce electricity use as the country grapples with its worst energy crisis in a decade as a result of electricity disruptions.
Kosovo Bans Crypto Mining Operations
Due to electricity shortages during the winter season, the government of Kosovo has decided to stop crypto mining in the country.
According to a report by local newspaper Gazeta Express, Kosovo’s Minister of Economy, Artane Rizvanolli, has decided to ban crypto mining following a recommendation from the Technical Committee on Emergency Measures for Energy Supply.
The government made the decision after Kosovo’s energy supply fell below the required level, and it began imposing electric power cutbacks during high usage hours, according to the article.
Law enforcement authorities are expected to intervene to block the manufacture of crypto currencies, and try to locate places where such operations take place.
Economy and Energy Minister Artane Rizvanolli said in a statement:
“All law enforcement agencies will stop the production of this activity in cooperation with other relevant institutions that will identify the locations where there is cryptocurrency production.”
In reaction to the problem, the administration has decided to form a technical committee to evaluate emergency energy supply strategies, according to Rizvanolli. Last week, the government decided to take immediate actions in response to the committee’s recommendations, including prohibiting crypto mining over Kosovo’s borders.
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Winter Is Coming
According to Gazeta Express, the government declared a state of emergency in December for 60 days, allowing it to allocate more money for energy imports and implement power cutbacks.
Low supplies from Russia revived fears of an energy shortage as the colder winter approaches, sending European gas prices soaring by more than 30% on Tuesday.
One miner, who requested anonymity and owns 40 GPUs (Graphics Processing Units), told Reuters that he spends roughly 170 euros per month on power and makes around 2,400 euros per month from mining.
Cryptocurrency mining has become more popular in northercrypto kosovo, which is primarily populated by Serbs who refuse to pay power bills because they do not recognize Kosovo’s independence.
The 1.8 million population-strong country now imports more than 40% of its energy, with significant demand in the winter when inhabitants mostly use power for heating.
The energy emergency measures may look draconian, but they are the result of years of energy problems in Kosovo, which have manifested themselves in blackouts across the country and have been aggravated by a severe lack of control and a slumping economy. While crypto miners have been able to take advantage of the low-cost energy, crypto mining’s high electricity usage is incompatible with a country that is experiencing widespread power outages and a sector of the country that has only recently began to pay for its electricity.
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