mandag 10. januar 2022

Kazakhstan is huge for crypto mining. Political upheaval could jeopardize that

Political turmoil in Kazakhstan is hitting the country's vast bitcoin mining industry. The Central Asian nation plunged into chaos as violent protests sparked by rising fuel prices left dozens killed and hundreds injured. As part of the mayhem, internet and telecommunications cuts have been reported nationwide — and that's having an impact on local cryptocurrency mining operations, which are among the largest in the world.

Kazakhstan emerged as a popular mining hub last year, after neighboring China cracked down on the activity — curbs Chinese authorities said were necessary to protect the country's efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Cryptocurrency mining is a complicated process by which new coins are entered into circulation. Mining requires high-powered computers that solve complex mathematical puzzles to create a new "block" on the blockchain. It requires significant computer power and electricity, and Kazakhstan, with its rich energy resources, became an attractive alternative to China for miners.