The Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan has discovered and shut down 13 illegal cryptocurrency mining farms in the country. The move comes amid government efforts to regulate cryptocurrency mining. Kazakhstan ranks second in the world with an 18.1% share of bitcoin mining, after the United States with 35.4%. Meanwhile, Russia ranked third with a share of 11.2%.
13 illegal BTC mining farms shut down
Joint inspections were carried out by the Kazakhstan Nuclear and Energy Regulatory Agency, the Ministry of Energy and other state agencies. “Following inspections over the past five days, the team has identified and closed 13 mines with a total consumption of 202 megawatts,” the Department of Energy said in a statement.
The Kazakh government has warned that it will continue to identify and disconnect mines from the grid. Authorized agencies will carry out operational and investigative measures for the identified mines.
Kazakhstan’s electricity demand will increase dramatically in 2021, making it the world’s second-largest bitcoin producer.
Kazakhstan raises tax on cryptocurrency mining
Last June, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym Jomart Tokayev legalized bitcoin mining by approving the tax coverage for cryptocurrency mining. The chief also started calling for an increase in mining taxes starting this month.
However, on Feb. 8, the president of Kazakhstan ordered the cabinet to conduct an audit of the cryptocurrency mining industry. According to reports, Kazakh President Tokayev is not against mining, he believes that mining should be legal, but miners must have a license and pay taxes. The Kazakh government is expected to develop a package of measures to regulate the mining industry by April 1, 2022.
Data shows that in August 2021, Kazakhstan accounted for 18% of the global “hash rate”. In April, the figure was only 8%.