Abkhazia Extends Crypto Mining Ban Till End of Year – The government of Abkhazia has chosen to keep the country’s cryptocurrency mining prohibition in place. The South Caucasus’ partially recognized republic is limiting the energy-intensive extraction of digital currencies, citing power supply issues.
The administration of Abkhazia, a Georgian breakaway country, has extended current limitations on cryptocurrency minting until the end of 2022. On April 1, the cabinet in Sukhumi approved the necessary revisions to its decree, which prohibits the use of power for mining and prohibits the import of key equipment.
The de-facto state has been experiencing power outages and has held talks with Russia, its biggest supporter, to assure extra energy supply. Crypto miners have also been blamed for frequent outages of the country’s electricity infrastructure. Due to the ongoing issues, a plan to legalize and regulate the sector has been put on hold.
In 2018, Abkhazia began to put a stop to crypto mining. The “temporary ban” was extended for another year in April of last year. The republic’s telecom and media watchdog announced in October that existing limits on internet access for miners will be maintained for the time being.
Authorities in the republic have been pursuing crypto miners, and in September they announced the seizure of 6,000 sets of mining hardware. At the same time, Abkhaz officials admitted that an estimated 30,000 mining rigs were still in use, acknowledging that they had failed to prevent the public from minting digital currencies, which have become a popular alternative source of income for many.
The government implemented sanctions and even criminalized the unlawful use of electrical power for crypto mining as part of its efforts to address the increasing energy crisis. In June, a number of underground mining activities were closed.
Residents of the Ochamchira region who were involved in cryptocurrency mining came to the streets last summer to protest local law enforcement’s activities after police raided unlawful mining farms in two villages in the district.