Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy Magzum Mirzagaliyev has warned unregistered Bitcoin (BTC) miners in the country that they may be targeted by the government, as the nation’s electricity grid comes under increasing pressure.
Mirzagaliyev assured registered crypto miners that those who have a license to operate legally in the country will not be cut off the national grid.
Following the Chinese clampdown on BTC mining, and subsequent blanket ban on all crypto transactions, crypto miners looked for alternatives elsewhere.
Kazakhstan, a country with cheap electricity, has become a preferred destination, along with the US and Iran.
However, Kazakhstan has been struggling to support BTC mining recently, as the second most popular country for such operations.
Kazakhstan is facing several challenges according to new data by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, including the country’s diminishing supply of natural resources and a desire to move towards greener practices.
Based on the government’s own estimates, BTC is currently lapping up 80% of Kazakhstan’s electricity capacity.
However, the National Association of Blockchain and Data Center Industry (NABD), a trade group supporting BTC mining operations in Kazakhstan, is confident that going after unregistered miners will address this hyper-consumption. This is a good way to preserve an industry that is currently worth $1.5bn in the country.
Something similar transpired in Iran, where brown outs forced a temporary ban on crypto mining.