Crypto miners blamed for Kazakhstan energy crisis

midian182

Posts: 7,456   +67
Staff member
What just happened? China’s clampdown on cryptocurrency mining has impacted more than just the Asian nation. Cryptocurrency miners in Kazakhstan, many of whom came over from China, have caused a power crisis in the country, prompting its electrical grid operator to start rationing electricity.

The Financial Times reports that demand for electricity in Kazakhstan has risen around eight percent this year, much more than its usual average growth rate of one to two percent. The surge has led to power shortages, blackouts in six regions of the country since October, and shutdowns at three power plants.

Electrical grid operator KEGOC has now announced that it will be rationing electricity to 50 registered crypto miners. They will also be the first disconnected in the event of grid failures.

Kazakh officials say much of the increased power usage is the fault of “gray miners,” unregistered crypto miners that operate from home or from factories. It’s estimated that they are behind the consumption of 1200 megawatts (MW) of power from the country’s power grid.

Starting next year, registered miners will be charged a compensation fee of 1 tenge (about $0.0023) to help with the situation and identify illegal miners. Kazakhstan is also looking at nuclear power as a way of meeting electricity demands, and has asked Russian energy company Inter RAO to contribute to the country’s national power grid.

Coindesk reports that Crypto mining company Xive shut down a 2,500-rig mine in South Kazakhstan recently due to a lack of sufficient energy supply. “It is clear that mining in south Kazakhstan is not possible anymore,” co-founder Didar Bekbau told the publication.

The Times estimates that over 87,849 “power-intensive” mining rigs moved from China to Kazakhstan following the former’s crackdown on mining and its declaration that all crypto transactions are illegal. However, some argue that miners are being made scapegoats for problems with the Kazakhstan’s electricity grid.

Somewhere else that has seen an influx of crypto miners from China is Sweden. The energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in the Scandinavian country went up by several hundred percent between April and August. The environmental impact has prompted Sweden to call for a Europe-wide ban on all crypto mining.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,578   +3,105
By having each individual country impose their own restrictions while America, as it is implicit by the support of the ruling capitalist class there, *supports* cryptos will mean this will just be a never ending international game of whack-a-mole except of a prize, you get a punishment if you fail which is irreversible climate change feedback loop.

It actually wouldn't be that difficult to stop cryptos dead on their tracks almost overnight: All you gotta do is have a concentrated effort from the biggest financial institutions in the world banning not only crypto but anyone who accepts crypto that would otherwise immediately lose the ability to trade with them. It would crash overnight and we wouldn't lose much in the process other than tech bro tears: I'll have those as coffee during the morning after.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,832   +4,994
By having each individual country impose their own restrictions while America, as it is implicit by the support of the ruling capitalist class there, *supports* cryptos will mean this will just be a never ending international game of whack-a-mole except of a prize, you get a punishment if you fail which is irreversible climate change feedback loop.

It actually wouldn't be that difficult to stop cryptos dead on their tracks almost overnight: All you gotta do is have a concentrated effort from the biggest financial institutions in the world banning not only crypto but anyone who accepts crypto that would otherwise immediately lose the ability to trade with them. It would crash overnight and we wouldn't lose much in the process other than tech bro tears: I'll have those as coffee during the morning after.

Laughable.
 

Achaios

Posts: 285   +788
"However, some argue that miners are being made scapegoats for problems with the Kazakhstan’s electricity grid."

Hahaha, the Miners are spreading disinfo again.

At the start of the GPU shortage crisis they were telling ppl at the /r NVIDIA subreddit that those responsible for the GPU shortage were "console gamers who went PC for the first time".
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,482   +7,322
There is always a downside no matter what side you are on; the question is why didn't they prepare in advance?
 

Black Paper

Posts: 38   +32
There is always a downside no matter what side you are on; the question is why didn't they prepare in advance?
Who are "they" in this scenario? I'm certain these miners are unwelcomed and uninvited "guests" in this circumstance and Kazakhstan would do well to expel this burden. The miners are the vagabonds here without a leg to stand on or anything to contribute to their hosts. Kleptoparasitism comes to mind.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,576   +3,978
If you power grid can't handle an 8% rise in power usage... the problem is the power grid!!

Miners certainly use a lot of electricity - but there is no reason for blackouts unless the nation is simply too cheap to pay the costs of upgrading their infrastructure.

It's not like the miners don't pay their electric bills... hey Kazakhstan (and Sweden), stop blaming crypto for your problems and maybe do some house cleaning?
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,018   +5,543
Pretty soon, Craptomining will be classified as an addiction and we will have Craptomining anonymous groups springing up all over the world. :laughing:

I wonder if these craptominers are having withdrawal symptoms since they cannot get enough electricity to mine?
Fairly certain that upgrading a power grid is a bit more difficult and takes a little more time than just rolling out a carpet.

Edit: we should somehow get all the US based miners to relocate to Texas.
🤣 This is the best solution I have heard yet. 🤣
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,576   +3,978
In Kazakhstan, I have to wonder if they can afford it. ;) In theory, anyway, the US can afford to upgrade its grid, but has it happened?:scream:
I'm sure they COULD... if their leaders weren't busy funneling money into their private accounts... We complain in the west about corrupt politicians - but they have nothing on their brethren in the east...

Here is an interesting document from the Republic of Kazakhstan:

They seem quite proud of their infrastructure and claim that they have plentiful reserves and can account for significant energy increases.... yet... an 8% rise has brought them to their knees... makes you wonder, doesn't it...
 

BadThad

Posts: 828   +969
Oh, those poor miners, my heart bleeds for them. NOT!

If countries would embrace coal and gas instead of vilifying it, they could end their power problems.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,018   +5,543
I'm sure they COULD... if their leaders weren't busy funneling money into their private accounts... We complain in the west about corrupt politicians - but they have nothing on their brethren in the east...

Here is an interesting document from the Republic of Kazakhstan:

They seem quite proud of their infrastructure and claim that they have plentiful reserves and can account for significant energy increases.... yet... an 8% rise has brought them to their knees... makes you wonder, doesn't it...
As I see it, looking at it as a percentage kind of makes it look like it is not much. In the doc you linked, the total generating capacity is approximately 94.1 Billion kilowatt hours. Eight percent of that is about 7.5 Billion kilowatt hours, and that is just from craptomining. As I see it, that figure really gives the scope of just how much power craptomining consumes. IMO, it is not a small amount of power.

We could discuss for some time about the corruption of politicians anywhere, however, I don't think there is much of an argument that craptomining consumes vast amounts of power. My house, for example, consumes about 500-800 kwh/month or about 9.6 megawatt hours in a year at the upper end. 7.5 Billion kwh is enough electricity to power some 780 homes like mine for one full year.

I guess the problem is that we really do not know if the reasons given by the power generation companies are the real reasons or if there is something else going on that those companies are not publicly stating.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,018   +5,543
Oh, those poor miners, my heart bleeds for them. NOT!

If countries would embrace coal and gas instead of vilifying it, they could end their power problems.
Yes, continuing to do the same things over and over again while, presumably, expecting different results makes an extraordinary amount of sense.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,576   +3,978
Oh, those poor miners, my heart bleeds for them. NOT!

If countries would embrace coal and gas instead of vilifying it, they could end their power problems.
I'm very curious as to your logic... what do embracing coal and gas have to do with this?

By the way, according to Kazakhstan's energy profile - https://www.iea.org/reports/kazakhstan-energy-profile

most of their electricity DOES come from coal and oil/gas...
 

Daniele 00

Posts: 148   +115
If you power grid can't handle an 8% rise in power usage... the problem is the power grid!!

Miners certainly use a lot of electricity - but there is no reason for blackouts unless the nation is simply too cheap to pay the costs of upgrading their infrastructure.

It's not like the miners don't pay their electric bills... hey Kazakhstan (and Sweden), stop blaming crypto for your problems and maybe do some house cleaning?

are you telling their fault is to be poorer than other countries ?