Kosovar authorities continue to crack down on crypto miners because of the amount of energy the sector consumes and the negative impact that it has on the environment. The police, on Saturday, confiscated 300 mining machines. They seized hardware – 272 Antminer bitcoin mining machines in Leposavic and additional 39 machines near Prishtina.
The police also stopped a driver, near Druar in Vushtrri, carrying six crypto mining machines with 42 graphics cards. Artane Rizvanolli, the Minister for Economy, applauded the Kosovo police. He said the taxpayers’ money and energy for hundreds of Kosovar families have been saved. The government had implemented a ban on cryptocurrency mining in December 2021 because of the energy crisis.
Ferat Shalal, the chairman of parliament’s Committee on Economy, highlighted that most cryptocurrency activities are registered in northern Serb-run parts of Kosovo. There have been reports that basements, attics, garages and whole houses in norther Kosovo’s Serb-majority areas have been rented out for crypto-mining. Crypto miners in this area have been ringing profits as they only have to pay 170 euros for electricity per month and get 2,400 euros for mining.
Hekuran Murati, the Finance Minister, in a Facebook post stated that the estimated consumption of crypto mining equipment on a monthly basis is equivalent to the power consumed by 500 houses. He highlighted that the amount mined was worth up to 120,000 euros. As such, Murati said the government would not allow this illegal activity at the cost of taxpayers.
Shalal believes that associated energy costs had pushed the committee to look at a crypto law to regulate the sector. The lawmaker said all operators in the sector will work and monitor, as well as be subjected to applicable law.