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Bitcoin mining in Kazakhstan hit by internet blackout

written by Bella Palmer
bitcoin-mining

The timing of the blackout comes at a bearish time for Bitcoin and the broader crypto market

On Tuesday, there was news of the Kosovo government banning crypto mining amidst an ongoing energy crisis. The government had called a 60-day state of emergency late last year to enable a redirect of funds to energy imports. From a global perspective, the ban may not have been a significant one, with Kosovo not featuring as a dominant Bitcoin (BTC) mining nation.

Overnight on Wednesday, there were reports of internet blackouts in Kazakhstan. Rising fuel prices have led to civil unrest in the country, following the government’s decision to remove a cap on fuel prices. Anti-government protesters were reported to have stormed government offices in the country’s main city. There were also reports of protests in other parts of the country.

In response, Kazakhstan president Tokayev imposed a nationwide communications blackout.

Recently, Kazakhstan has seen increased popularity amongst Bitcoin miners. According to the University of Cambridge, Kazakhstan accounted for 18.1% of the total hashrate back in August 2021. In April, the total hashrate stood at 8.2% and had been as low as 1.4% back in September 2019, when China had accounted for 75.5% of the global hashrate.

This week’s internet blackout and fall in Bitcoin mining looks to have had a muted impact on Bitcoin. The timing of the blackout comes at a bearish time for Bitcoin and the broader crypto market.

According to glassnode.com, the mean hashrate did fall to 168 exahashes per second on 3rd January before a pickup to 181 exahashes per second on Wednesday.

For miners, the removal of the cap on fuel prices could become an issue, however. Miners will need to explore alternative mining friendly nations should fuel prices continue to soar.

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