Kazakhstan, the world’s second-largest Bitcoin miner, has announced that its crypto mines will be shut down until the end of January. After millions were affected by power outages across three Central Asian countries last week, the state electricity provider KEGOC decided to cut the supply to the miners.
Crypto miners, on the other hand, have accused KEGOC of blaming them for power outages, estimating losses of around $1 million per day due to inactivity.
‘Miners do not provide some fantastic load,’ Sergey Putra, vice-president of the Blockchain and Data Center Industry Association of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NABDC), told state-run news agency Khabar.
‘They did not double or triple their electricity consumption.’
‘This represents only 7% of the total market.’
‘The equipment is stationary and constantly in use.’ This equipment does not work at this hour, consumes three kW, then consumes two kW the next hour, and then consumes ten kW for two minutes.’No, it always consumes the same amount of power.’
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, the three countries that experienced blackouts and lost heating, are connected by a Soviet-era power grid.
For several hours, the blackout caused chaos throughout the region, with subway trains stuck in tunnels and skiers stuck on lifts, airports closing, district heating and tap water pumps going idle, and traffic lights turning off.
While the power is mostly restored and the technical cause of the outage is still unknown, Kazakh crypto miners have accused KEGOC of using them as a scapegoat, Eurasianet reports.KEGOC cut off miners’ electricity supply as early as January 17, according to Alan Dorjiyev, president of the NABDC.
Every time there’s a problem with the country’s power grid, KEGOC blames the miners,’ he said. They now have a plausible explanation.”All 69 companies officially registered as “miners” in the Republic of Kazakhstan received notification letters from KEGOC,’ the caption read.
‘In the letter, the reason for the shutdown is described as “a tense situation with maintaining a balance of electricity and capacity.”‘
Due to rolling internet blackouts in crisis-hit Kazakhstan earlier this month, the price of Bitcoin plummeted to levels not seen since September.
Jaran Mellerud, an analyst at cryptocurrency research firm Arcane Research, told Wired that the internet outages earlier this month during political unrest cost Kazakh miners around $20 million; $4.8 million for every 24 hours without access.