The Government of Kosovo has put Bitcoin miners between a rock and a hard place, after the ban on activity in that country. Now, this sector is torn between selling its equipment or settling in neighboring territories.
The electricity crisis that Kosovo is going through and the persecution of the local authorities to Bitcoin mining, has motivated the industry shutdown, according reported the Bloomberg agency.
In this regard, Ardian Alaj, co-owner of a cryptocurrency exchange based in Kosovo, indicated that he was aware that some owners of equipment to mine cryptocurrencies are trying to put them up for sale at low prices and others, to a lesser extent, plan to take them to neighboring countries.
Alaj believes that moving operations abroad “would create additional costs that local miners are not used to.”
Bitcoin mining gained strength in Kosovo due to the fact that has the cheapest energy prices in Europe, especially in the north of that nation, in Mitrovica, one of the areas where the government granted a subsidy for electricity.
Further, Kosovo is among the poorest nations of that continent. By mixing low energy costs and high levels of poverty, cryptocurrencies become an escape valve for the population, as is the case in Latin American countries such as Argentina or Venezuela that are facing serious economic crises.
The ban on Bitcoin mining in Kosovo began earlier this month. The Minister of Economy, Artane Rizvanolli, justified the prohibition measure as an action to try curb electricity consumption, as reported by CriptoNoticias.
Panic among Bitcoin miners located in Kosovo
The British outlet The Guardian obtained statements from a cryptocurrency investor who calls himself CryptoKapo. He assured that there is “a lot of panic” among the miners.
CryptoKapo, administrator of one of the largest cryptocurrency-related communities in that region, indicated that many people in Kosovo have invested large sums of money in mining equipment.
“People have even taken out loans to invest and the impact is now very bad on their lives,” he added.
Until now, the Kosovo police in the search for miners, has seized 272 equipment for Bitcoin mining and 81 graphics cards (GPU) for the production of other cryptocurrencies, a fact reported by CriptoNoticias.
Kosovo joins list of countries that bans bitcoin
The war of the Government of Kosovo against Bitcoin miners became similar to that of the Chinese authorities. In September of last year, the Central Bank of that nation indicated that all activities related to cryptocurrencies are prohibited and vetoed in accordance with the law.
Recently, Kazakhstan has also become an inconvenient location to develop the activity. The miners fear that the political instability of the Asian country will leave them bankrupt. In this sense, they are evaluating migrating, at least part of their operation, to destinations such as the United States and Russia.
A study revealed that the number of countries that have fully or partially banned BTC has doubled in the last 3 years. China, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Nepal, Qatar and Oman are the list of 9 countries that they have decided to ban all economic activity around the use of cryptocurrencies and now Kosovo is joining.