Energy crises force Kryptominig ban in Kosovo and Iran

Share your love

Iran and Kosovo are temporarily banning cryptocurrency mining to reduce power consumption. This should relieve the power grid and power plants, which means fewer power cuts. In Iran, the ban has been in place since December 28, and in Kosovo it was announced three days later.

Both countries suffer from power shortages. In Iran, the ban applies until March 6th. In any case, it should relieve the power grid by those 209 MW that are accounted for by legal cryptocurrency miners. The government estimates that illegal miners will take another 600 MW. We are looking for these facilities and their operators. At the same time, Iran regulates electricity consumption in offices and switches off street lights in some areas.

Kosovo declared a 60-day energy emergency. Shortly before Christmas, the country’s electricity network operator spoke of the “world’s worst electricity crisis”. The old coal-fired power plants produce little. The cost of importing electricity has exploded sevenfold within a year. At the same time, many Serbs living in Kosovo refuse to pay their electricity bills.

This leads to power cuts: every consumer in Kosovo has to go without electricity for two hours a day. To alleviate the plight, a council of experts has recommended that the government ban the generation of cryptocurrencies. The government does it and at the same time introduces a reporting requirement for prospecting systems.

In addition, it is contributing 4.8 million euros to the state coal plant and 10 million euros to the state telecom operator. Coal is by far main power source in the country, and the high energy costs are also reflected in telecom networks. The subsidies are intended to ensure the continued operation of critical infrastructure.

Read Also   EU Commission President von der Leyen: "We will need nuclear power"

The mining of most cryptocurrencies is a race that rewards those who are the first to carry out very complex calculations (proof of work). In contrast to distributed calculations for protein folds for drug research, the crypto calculations themselves do not lead to any gain in knowledge.

The power consumption is enormous: Bitcoin alone drew more than 200 TWh of electricity in 2021, appreciates the University of Cambridge. In addition, there is the energy requirement of other crypto currencies. For comparison: All hydropower plants in Germany together fed around 18 TWh of electricity into the grid in 2020.

The largest source of cryptocurrency in the world has long been the People’s Republic of China. However, there has been an express ban there since mid-2021. China’s prospecting facilities have been shut down and some of them have been sold to other countries with low electricity prices.

The list of countries that prohibit the mining and / or use of cryptocurrencies is getting longer. The Law Department of the US Library of Congress found eight states with explicit cryptocurrency bans and 15 with implicit bans in 2018. In a new review in November 2021, there were only one more with nine states with absolute bans, but at least 42 countries implicitly prohibited it at the time.

In addition, there are areas that limit prospecting by adding surcharges to energy prices and / or limited electricity allocation or deliberately make it uneconomical. For example, the Canadian network operator Hydro-Québec has a maximum of 300 MW of power available for all professional miners in the province of Québec. No new system may have an installed capacity of more than 50 kW. The electricity price for the systems was recently the equivalent of 11 euro cents per kWh. This is a considerable extra charge: households and farms in the French-speaking province of Canada only pay a good 4 euro cents per kWh.

Read Also   Facebook whistleblower fears for security

The situation is different in the Canadian province of Alberta, where gas-fired power plant operators still lure Bitcoin miners with cheap tariffs – until it gets too hot. In addition, closed gas sources attract speculators who want to produce the electricity for their computer systems themselves. This is only allowed with permission. Bitcoin systems that had been built secretly had to close last year.


(ds)

Article Source

Share your love