Kazakhstan to Crack Down on “Grey” Crypto Miners, Sweden’s State-owned Power Company Counters FSA’s Mining Ban

Kazakhstan government plans to crack down on unregistered “grey” miners who are consuming twice as much power as “white” or registered miners.

“I think we will have the directive (limiting power to unregistered miners) issued before the end of this year because this issue cannot be delayed any longer,” said Deputy Energy Minister Murat Zhurebekov.

According to the ministry, “grey” miners may be consuming up to 1.2 GWt of power which combined with 600 MWt consumed by “white” miners accounts for about 8% of Kazakhstan’s total generation capacity.

While some “grey” miners are considering going “white,” with the tax code amendments in June hiking tax to 1 tenge ($0.0023) per kilowatt-hour and more proposals aiming to have miners pay more for energy, they are unsure how heavily they may be taxed.

“The tax that the government plans to introduce is something that miners can afford to pay,” said one anonymous “grey” miner. “But it is unclear what demands the government may put up further on.”

After the exodus of crypto miners from China, Kazakhstan has become a favorite among miners, making it the second-biggest bitcoin mining location after the US in recent months.

Defending Crypto Mining

Meanwhile, in Sweden, as we reported, the financial supervisory authority Finansinspektionen called for an EU-wide ban on cryptocurrency mining last week, saying it is a threat to the climate.

But the country’s power company has countered that mining has the potential to balance loads on electrical grids.

Vattenfall, the state-owned power generation company, defended cryptocurrency mining, saying bitcoin extraction as an industrial activity can help electricity producers to overcome some of the challenges they are facing.

Crypto mining has the potential to balance loads on electrical grids, Henrik Juhlin, head of Physical Power Management at Vattenfall, told the Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

In fact, banning crypto mining in the EU may increase carbon emissions around the world as the industry would then relocate to regions relying on fossil fuels such as coal, Juhlin warned. Sweden is home to abundant renewable energy sources.

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