bitcoin mining

Kosovo police on Saturday seized hundreds of cryptocurrency mining machines and arrested one person in the tense ethnic-Serb majority north as the country spent the last 60 days in a government state of emergency over an ongoing energy crisis.

This is barely one year after China announced its decision to crack down big time on crypto mining — not to mention Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, and a de facto hiatus in Kazakhstan as authorities shut down the entire internet.

Now, tensions between the Serb-majority area and the ethnic Albanian majority government are running high and Kosovo’s government on Tuesday had to issue a ban on cryptocurrency mining in an effort to bring down electricity consumption.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are created through solving complex equations — an endeavor that consumes enormous amounts of energy

During the operation police “confiscated 272 different anti-miner devices used for the production of Bitcoin”, a police statement said.

The confiscated equipment uses as much electricity as 500 homes a month or between 60,000 and 120,000 euros ($68,000 and 136,000), said Finance Minister Hekuran Murati on Facebook.

Here’s Why Countries are Banning Bitcoin Mining

In 2017, Bitcoin mining was already using more energy than a combined total of 159 countries. Since then it’s gotten progressively worse, and there’s been little progress on eco-friendly cryptocurrencies. In fact, some mining has gotten so bad entire lakes have reportedly been turned into hot tubs because of the heat and energy pumped out by a local mining rig.

“We cannot allow the illegal enrichment of some, at the expense of taxpayers.”

According to local media, the total cost of the energy spent in the Serb-majority north is around 12 million euros a year.

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The energy crisis in Kosovo has worsened after a production unit of one of the two main power plants stopped working and prompted the government to introduce power reductions in December.

Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli earlier this week labeled the hunt for cryptocurrency mining an “emergency measure” due to the crisis.

However, police operations raised questions over their legality as experts say there is no legal grounds to ban cryptocurrency mining as Kosovo has no law regulating the issue.

Pristina said in October it had drafted a bill on cryptocurrency which the parliament was due to adopt by the end of the last year. The legislation is still pending, however.

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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