Kosovo bans crypto mining due to energy crisis

Because of the energy crisis, Kosovo implemented a 60-day state of emergency in December

Flag of the Republic of Kosovo                                 
The flag of the Republic of Kosovo – Photo: Alamy

Kosovo’s government has introduced a ban on cryptocurrency mining as it faces an energy crisis.

The move is an attempt to curb the amount of electricity consumption in the country.

Cheap electricity prices have made Kosovo an attractive location for crypto miners.

Kosovo’s state of emergency

Following coal-fired power outages and high import prices, in December Kosovo was impelled to introduce power cuts and declare a state of emergency for 60 days.   

This gave the government time to allocate more funds to energy imports and implement harsher cuts.

To make matters worse, European gas prices rose more than 30% on 4 January due to a decrease in supply from Russia.

Profitability of crypto mining  

A Kosovan cryptocurrency miner said he pays €170 ($192) per month for electricity and makes €2,400 per month in profit from crypto mining.

Kosovo’s population of 1.8 million relies on lignite for 90% of their energy. Lignite is a soft coal that produces toxic pollution when burned.

Security services to clamp down on crypto mining

Following the ban on crypto mining, the government has said security services will identify and clamp down on sources of crypto mining.

Artane Rizvanolli, economy and energy minister, said: “All law enforcement agencies will stop the production of this activity in cooperation with other relevant institutions that will identify the locations where there is cryptocurrency production.”

China, Iran and now Kosovo

Kosovo is not the first country to ban crypto mining due to the amount of energy being used to facilitate the process.

China was a global leader in bitcoin (BTC) mining until its crackdown brought the nation’s hashrate to zero.    

In 2021, Iran twice announced four-month bans on crypto mining as it was draining more than 2GW of energy from Iran’s grid every day.  

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