The government of Kazakhstan identified 106 cryptocurrency mining farms that operate without the necessary licenses. The authorities halted 51 of them, while 55 ceased their operations voluntarily.
The Latest Crackdown
Earlier this year, Kazakhstan declared war on illegal digital asset mining farms. Minister Bagdat Musin claimed that they could negatively impact the nation’s energy network:
“Gray miners are doing a lot of harm to our power grid. The energy costs of illegal mining are estimated to exceed 1 gigawatt.”
According to a recent announcement, authorities forced 106 crypto mining farms to halt their activities. 55 of those shut down voluntarily.
The other 51, suspected of tax evasion and operating on special economic zones without regulatory approval, were terminated by law enforcement.
The investigation further revealed that some popular political and business figures were behind the illegal companies. These include Bolat Nazarbayev – the brother of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kairat Itegmenov – Kazakhstan’s 17th richest man, and Alexander Klebanov – the Chairman of Central Asian Electric Power Corp.
Additionally, the authorities confiscated over 65,000 pieces of mining equipment from those farms, worth more than $190 million. They also opened 25 criminal cases against people related to the companies.
It is worth noting that cryptocurrency mining is an important niche for Kazakhstan. The former Soviet state accounts for 18.1% of the global hash rate. The US is the only nation ahead with 35.4%.
Last Month’s Operation
In February, the government identified and halted the activities of 13 cryptocurrency mining farms. The entities were located all over the country in regions like Turkestan, Pavlodar, Karaganda, Akmola, and Kostanai. According to estimations, the farms collectively employed an electricity capacity of over 200 megawatts.
Back then, the officials vowed to keep discovering and disconnecting illicit organizations that harm the local energy network and do not abide by the rules.
Nevertheless, President Tokayev stated that the government will not disturb “white” miners who receive the necessary approval to execute their operations:
“The government is not opposed to “white” miners, but people who want to operate in this sector must have a license, get their electricity at the appropriate tariffs, declare their income and pay taxes, and get involved in green projects.”
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