The government of Kosovo has banned cryptocurrency mining. The reason is a state of emergency put into effect due to the energy crisis.
Kosovo is one of the poorest European countries. More than 40% of Kosovo’s energy is imported and it is experiencing one of the worst energy crises in its history. Since the end of the local war in 1999, electricity has been mostly free for residents. The crisis has been caused by outages at coal plants and high import costs of energy.
Young Kosovans are mining as if their lives depended on it
Due to the crisis, Kosovo cut back on the supply of electricity and in December declared a state of emergency for sixty days. The widespread ban on cryptocurrency mining, in which many young Kosovans participate due to previously low costs, is meant to reduce the usage of valuable energy.
The police in Kosovo have maximally intensified their efforts, and in the course of one day they confiscated more than 300 mining machines. They also discovered a driver that was smuggling six machines for cryptocurrency mining with 42 graphics cards.
Searches for other miners continues
The Kosovan Minister of Economy Artane Rizvanolli expressed her support for the local police and stated that the tens of thousands of euros saved from the taxpayer’s money means energy for hundreds of Kosovan families during the crisis. Authorities in Kosovo are still searching for other miners who are not respecting the bans and are thus worsening the blackouts.The best-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, consumes about twice as much electricity annually as the Czech Republic. If bitcoin was a country, it would be among the 30 highest consumers of electricity.