Crypto mining in Kazakhstan is likely to be hurt after protesters stormed government buildings to complain about surging energy costs, leading the country’s largest telecommunications provider to shut down access to the internet.
Bitcoin mining found a home in Kazakhstan after China’s clampdown on the industry last year. It was second only to the U.S. in energy devoted to crypto mining, according to Cambridge University, accounting for 18% of the global total as of August.Protesters stormed public buildings on Wednesday, which was followed by the government announcing a possible dissolution of parliament.The country’s largest telecommunications provider, Kazakhtelecom, shut off internet access throughout the country, which will leave mining companies without the ability to mine.“I guess some geeks would say that in theory you could mine without internet, but in practice, all the machines in Kazakhstan should be turned off because of the internet shutdown,” Jaran Mellerud, a researcher at Arcane Research, told CoinDesk.“Also, btc.com estimates both Antpool, Poolin, F2Pool and Binance Pool to have seen significant reductions in their hashrate around the same time as the internet was shut down. These are pools widely used by Kazakh miners,” Mellerud said.Kazakhstan’s popularity with crypto miners relied on the country’s rich oil reserves and hitherto cheap electricity.
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