For a long time, the energy consumed by crypto mining and its effects on the environment have been discussed. A few countries such as Belarus and Russia are taking steps to ensure that the power supply required by crypto miners is different from that of normal users. The same type of steps are being taken in other countries that have become crypto mining hubs in recent years. The aim is to regulate the mining activities primarily due to excessive consumption of electricity.
Belarus and Russia are the two latest countries to join China in cracking down on crypto miners and mining hubs. Power plants responsible for generating the electricity needed by mining facilities in these countries have faced threats of fines and other legal penalties from authorities. As a result of these crackdowns, miners from these countries have fled to greener pastures such as Kazakhstan, where electricity is both abundant and cheap.
However, this has resulted in increasing pressure on Kazakhstan’s power grids. Magzum Mirzagaliyev, the Energy Minister of Kazakhstan, has revealed that in the last one year, the country’s electricity consumption has increased by a whopping 7%. Typically, power consumption rises in the country only by 2% each year. Kazakhstan’s global mining share also went up drastically – to 18% in August 2021 from 1.4% in September 2019. This has resulted in the country becoming the world’s second-biggest crypto miner.
KEGOC, the national grid operator of Kazakhstan, has also started to ration electricity following the shutdown of three power plants. In a statement, KEGOC said that the aim of rationing electricity was to cut off over-consuming customers.