Dozens of officially registered bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining farms were given notice on Monday January 24th, 2022 that they will not be provided power from January 24th to January 31st. In the Asymptomatically News Telegram post, a copy of the notice was sent out by the journalist Serikzhan Mauletbay.
Following China’s ban of all bitcoin and cryptocurrency operations in 2021, other countries were able to benefit from the mass exodus of miners. As of August 2021, the U.S. has around 35% of the Bitcoin hash rate while Kazakhstan has 18%.
Those percentages have most likely changed since then because of the recent power outages that are affecting everyone in the country. Earlier this month the energy prices in Kazakhstan doubled which led to mass protests, government resignations, and deaths. Blackouts are now widespread across the nation and spilling over to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
The Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC) owns the country’s National Power Grid (NPG) monopoly electricity provider in Kazakhstan. The KEGOC claims that the shutdown is due to “a tense situation with maintaining a balance of electricity and capacity.”
Journalist Beibit Alibekov posted that the KEGOC blames the miners for the temporary shut down. He addresses the KEGOC, “It's so easy to explain your failures, you don't have to be an expert to understand the infrastructure in the energy sector has failed, the power plants have not been renovated - the generation for all 30 years of independence was less than in the Kazakh SSR.”
Beibit also states that legal miners have not been able to operate properly for the last three months. It is only recently that these miners were shut down completely while unregistered miners have been able to continue operations without interruption. If these unregistered miners are able to access power off the grid, then they may remain unaffected by rolling blackouts and other regulations enforced by the government.