Bitcoin Miners Have no Plan to Leave Kazakhstan Despite Unrest
With Bitcoin mining activities currently at a standstill in Kazakhstan, miners in the country are beginning to weigh their options on how best to proceed with their operations in the central Asian country.
The Genesis of the Problem
Last year, China sacked Bitcoin miners from its region citing the environmental impact of these activities. This led to an exodus of Chinese miners like BIT mining and others to friendlier jurisdictions like Kazakhstan, Russia, North America, and other regions.
While these miners have begun to gain a foothold in these new places, a new problem has occurred in Kazakhstan as protests have begun over rising fuel prices, electricity bills, and allegations of corruption in the erstwhile peaceful country.
Protesters have picketed government offices in the country’s main city and there have been reports of protests in other regions of the country.
Due to the level of the protests, the government has enacted some stringent measures like restricting movements, banning mass gatherings, imposing an overnight curfew, and also ordering a nationwide block of internet services.
How This Affects Bitcoin Miners
Kazakhstan in recent times has become a choice location for many crypto mining firms due to the abundance of coal which powers many of the crypto mining farms. Available data shows that the country is hosting around 18% of the global Bitcoin hashrate.
Per BTC.com, crypto mining pools’ hashrate has fallen by 14% due to the ongoing unrest in the country —an indication of the importance of Kazakhstan in maintaining BTC high hashrate.
What the Miners Have Been Doing
According to a report from 8BTCnews, a China-based news agency, Bitcoin miners operating in Kazakhstan have no plans to leave the country.
Chinese #cryptomining company BIT Mining (NYSE:BTCM): We are still evaluating the impact of the situation in #Kazakhstan , and it is unlikely that our mining machines will be evacuated to North America
— 8BTCnews (@btcinchina) January 7, 2022
The report stated that a spokesperson for BIT Mining, one of the largest Bitcoin mining firms operating in the country, said that it was unlikely that the firm was going to move its machines to North America.
It continued that some of the miners, despite the internet blackout, have somehow been able to stay online.
Foremost Chinese crypto reporter, Colin Wu, earlier today wrote that:
Some Kazakhstan miners told us that the internet was temporarily restored on January 7th. In addition, the 4G network of Chinese phones is also intermittently effective. The industry expects that the country may return to normal next Monday.
Apart from that, many mining farms are situated in remote locations, while the protests have been concentrated in urban places like Almaty.