Bitcoin miners

After China’s ban of Bitcoin miners, Kazakhstan seeks nuclear solution to resolve energy crisis

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The exodus of Bitcoin miners from China to Kazakhstan has contributed to an energy crisis that the president of the Central Asian country will be trying to solve by using nuclear energy.

Kazakhstan’s energy ministry has been blaming bitcoin miners for the astonishing 8% increase in domestic electricity consumption during 2021. The country has received at least 87,849 Bitcoin mining machines from Chinese companies so far this year, following China’s crackdown on mining cryptocurrencies, according to data from the Financial Times.

The substantial growth in demand has led to a shortage of domestic electricity supply and thus contributed to extremely unreliable electricity services, according to the Kazakhstan Electricity Company. President Tokayev told bankers in a November 19 meeting that he believes building a nuclear power plant will help reduce stress on his country’s electrical infrastructure:

“Looking into the future, we will have to make an unpopular decision about the construction of a nuclear power plant.” He then went on to add – “But, as they say, the role of a leader is to make unpopular decisions.” This decision is without any doubt, not an easy one, but, according to the President, it might help the country get out of the electricity issues that it is currently facing. Whether it is or not the right choice is something that remains to be seen in the future, but so far Tokayev seems to really be taking into consideration this attempt.

Although Tokayev did not directly connect the proposal to the use of Bitcoin mining energy, the failure to keep miners in the country could jeopardize the estimated $1.58 billion in tax revenues they represent. The lack of energy has already forced the Bitcoin Xive mining marketplace to leave Kazakhstan. Didar Bekbau, the co-founder of Xive, said in a tweet on November 25 that he had to close his company’s mining farm due to “restricted electricity supply from the grid”, according to cointelegraph.com. You can read his tweet here:

Kazakhstan now hosts 50 registered crypto mining companies and an unknown number of unregistered companies, which could make up for a lot more.

The decision to build new nuclear power plants is a serious one in a country that suffered severe nuclear effects following the weapon tests during the Soviet occupation. The last nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan has been officially closed in 1999.

About 88% of Kazakhstan’s power now comes from fossil fuel power plants.

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