Kosovo bans Bitcoin mining and will go after those who operate clandestinely

Mining difficulty and ETH hash rate on the rise: ATH marks this Tuesday, January 4

Key facts:
  • The mining ban covers the entire national territory of Kosovo.

  • Electricity in Kosovo is cheap, which has led to the proliferation of Bitcoin miners.

Citing an electricity crisis that has led to blackouts in several areas, Kosovo became the first country in Europe to follow in the footsteps of China. It banned Bitcoin (BTC) mining on the advice of ‘experts’.

So reported In a statement published on Facebook, the Minister of Economy of that country, Artane Rizvanolli, who defended the measure as an action to try to curb electricity consumption, at a time when they face the worst crisis in recent years.

The government official also specified that the Kosovar authorities will identify the places where cryptocurrencies are being mined illegally.

“All law enforcement agencies will stop the production of this activity in cooperation with other relevant institutions that will identify the places where there is production of cryptocurrencies,” it said in a statement.

Kosovo, a country of limited recognition located in southeastern Europe, is a place where energy prices are low, which is why many young people have decided to venture into the cryptocurrency mining industry.

However, recurrent power cuts in the main coal plants, in addition to high import prices, forced local authorities to start cutting power on a scheduled basis.

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Kosovo bans Bitcoin mining and will go after those who operate clandestinely

In fact, the measure to prohibit mining is part of a recommendation of the Technical Committee for Emergency Measures in the Supply of Energy, created in December, to face the aforementioned crisis.

This Technical Committee has held two meetings to identify and recommend the implementation of measures to address the negative effects of the circumstances created by the global energy crisis. Based on the recommendations of this Technical Committee, last week I made the decision on Emergency Measures by which the production of cryptocurrencies is prohibited throughout the territory of the Republic of Kosovo.

Artane Rizvanolli, Minister of Economy of Kosovo.

Earnings of up to 2,400 euros per mining

Reuters news agency convert in with a Kosovar miner, who preferred anonymity. The specialist, who operates with 40 GPUs, revealed that he pays about 170 euros per month for electricity, while your earnings for mining exceed 2,400 euros.

The mining industry has consolidated in the north of the country, a region populated, in general, by Serbs who, by not recognizing the State of Kosovo, they refuse to pay for electricity.

According to the Efe agency, some 10,000 people in Kosovo already work with bitcoin, but there is no clear data on the value of the transactions carried out in that country.

Kosovo bans Bitcoin mining and will go after those who operate clandestinely
Kosovo, southeastern Europe, is a country with low electricity prices / Source: IStock.

Europe’s first ban

As mentioned at the beginning, Kosovo has now become the first European country to ban mining. But nevertheless, the intentions to ban the activity date back months.

In November, this medium reviewed the claims of two Swedish regulatory bodies, who want the mining of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be banned in Sweden and all of Europe.

However, the arguments here are based on the supposed environmental impact of digital mining, despite the fact that it has been shown to be much less, when compared with other industrial activities.

It is not clear if the measure to ban mining is permanent or until the crisis is overcome. The truth is that, right now, Kosovo is leaving the list of countries that produced bitcoin, perhaps making way for others.

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