Cryptocurrency miners have moved from China, where the activity has been banned.
The Ministry of Energy of the Asian country of Kazakhstan has indicated that there is a shortage of electricity due, in large part, to cryptocurrency mines .
As reported by the Financial Times , cryptocurrency mines are causing overloads at central power plants, which supply electricity to entire cities.
The report notes that the country’s electricity grid operator, KEGOC, had to decrease the energy quantity of at least 50 officially registered miners in the country because its demand invoked an emergency blackout at at least three company plants.
The Energy Ministry estimated that electricity demand has risen 8% so far in 2021 compared to the more typical one or two percent. There have been blackouts in six regions since October.
To mine bitcoins , for example, a special and powerful computer is necessary, which will connect to the cryptocurrency network . Through its graphics card, the PC verifies the transactions that send or receive bitcoins on the internet.
This process involves solving puzzles that, while not an integral part of verifying currency movements, are an obstacle to ensuring that no one fraudulently edits the global record of all transactions .
As a reward, users occasionally receive bitcoins in what is often compared to a lottery.
Because of this, people create “farms” of graphics cards , monopolizing the entire market for these PC components and creating low stock in the market. Large tanks are built where all the components are placed and energized, often clandestinely.
However, although there are legal miners in Kazakhstan, there are a large number of “farms” without regularization, partly the responsibility of China.
Since China banned cryptocurrency mining in the country , investors have moved to different countries around the world, including Kazakhstan, where energy is relatively cheap.
Kazakhstan is trying to make up for the energy shortage. It is asking a Russian energy company to supplement the national power grid, and will charge registered miners a compensation fee of 1 tenge (about $ 0.0023) for every kilowatt-hour starting in 2022.