Kazakhstan Cracks Down on Illegal Mining, Busts 13 Crypto Farms – Authorities in Kazakhstan have launched an investigation into unlawful crypto mining operations in the wake of continuing power outages. The country’s energy ministry announced the closure of over a dozen digital currency minting facilities in collaboration with law enforcement.
The Committee for Atomic and Energy Supervision of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy has conducted a series of inspections to discover illegal cryptocurrency mining operations in the country, according to the department. The joint checks included members of the country’s law enforcement and other government institutions.
“As a result of the inspections over the last 5 days,” the ministry said in a press release, “mobile groups have found and stopped 13 mining farms with a total consumption of 202 MW.” The facilities that have been closed down are spread across the Central Asian country.
Authorities discovered mining facilities with a total capacity of over 31 MW in the Karaganda region, and another 22 MW of mining equipment in the Pavlodar region. They also turned down equipment in the Turkistan region (3.28 MW), Akmola region (1.03 MW), Kostanay region (0.82 MW), the capital Nur-Sultan (1.8 MW), Almaty (3.5 MW), and Shymkent (4 MW).
Several mines in West Kazakhstan and Karaganda have imposed “self-restrictions” totaling 91 MW in West Kazakhstan and 44 MW in Karaganda, according to the ministry. According to the announcement, inspectors will continue to hunt for and disconnect illegal crypto farms, but they will also look for and identify licensed mining operations.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev asked authorities to account for all coin minting firms in the country and review their tax, customs, and technical documentation earlier in February, prompting the government checks. He assigned the responsibility to the Financial Monitoring Agency, which is expected to provide a report to the executive branch by mid-March.
Kazakhstan Cracks Down on Illegal Mining, Busts 13 Crypto Farms – Following China’s ban on the industry, Kazakhstan became an attraction for crypto miners, offering restricted electricity rates. They were first welcomed, but their energy-intensive production was later blamed for the developing power deficit.
Due to winter blackouts, the nation had to increase electricity imports from Russia and recently shut down legal mining farms.
In the early days of the year, mass protests over growing energy costs, particularly fuel prices, erupted, putting Tokayev’s rule in threat. To pacify the uproar, his administration briefly shut down banks and blocked internet access, affecting bitcoin mining and hashrate globally.
Some mining businesses have already sought more stable conditions elsewhere due to political unrest and power outages.