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Kosovo Crypto Miners Considering Selling Gear Following Ban

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Some miners in Kosovo are considering selling their equipment, following a government ban on cryptocurrency mining.
  • Unlike other places where there’s been a crackdown, there have been only “minimal cases” of miners relocating to other countries.
  • A similar story has been playing out in Kazakhstan.
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Some miners in Kosovo are considering selling their equipment, following a government ban on cryptocurrency mining.

One crypto exchange co-owner based in Kosovo’s capital Pristina told Bloomberg he knew of several miners who were actively trying to sell their equipment. Unlike other places where there’s been a crackdown there have been only “minimal cases” of miners relocating to other countries.

“Mining was done in Kosovo, because it was possible to do it illegally,” said exchange co-owner Ardian Alaj. “Moving operations abroad would create additional costs the local miners are not accustomed to.” 

Crypto in Kosovo

Due to the country’s relatively cheap cost of energy, young people in Kosovo had flocked to crypto mining in recent years. This had especially been the case in the northern region of Mitrovica, one of the four Serb-majority parts of the country, which exempts its citizens from electricity bills. 

However, faced with high import costs and power plant outages, the government introduced power cuts and declared a 60-day state of emergency late last year. In light of this energy crisis, the government subsequently banned cryptocurrency mining. Since the ban was introduced, some 429 devices used to mine cryptocurrencies have been confiscated by Kosovo authorities, according to the newspaper Gazetta Express. 

The case in Kazakhstan

A similar story has been playing out in Kazakhstan. Cheap energy prices combined with geographical proximity drew enough of the fleeing miners from China to bring Kazakhstan’s proportion of the global hash rate from 8% in April 2021 to 18% in August last year. This elevated it to becoming the world’s second-largest producer of Bitcoin, following the United States.

However, the influx of miners similarly put a strain on the energy grid of the Central Asian nation, which is also growing impatient with the industry. Internet outages caused by social unrest earlier this month caused a drop in the global hash rate. Although almost all these operations have since been restored, some miners are still considering a move of their own.  

BeInCrypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.
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