Kosovo has banned crypto mining in order to curb electricity consumption amidst the country’s worst energy crisis in a decade
Kosovo’s government has announced a ban on cryptocurrency mining to reduce electricity consumption as it deals with a severe energy crisis. The country was forced to introduce power cuts in December due to low domestic production and high import prices. The executive power in Pristina has moved to stop the energy-intensive minting of digital coins in Kosovo. Kosovo is only partially recognized republic in Southeast Europe. The country is facing electricity shortages during the cold winter months, local media reported.
“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,” Minister of Economy and Energy Artane Rizvanolli said in a statement.
A 60-day state of emergency was declared in December. It gave the government powers to allocate more money for energy imports and impose stricter restrictions on power usage. The blackouts have sparked protests and calls for the resignation of Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli. Energy prices are skyrocketing across Europe for various reasons. It includes low supplies from Russia and high demand for natural gas as economies recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kosovo gets the majority of its energy from coal-fired plants and also exports fossil fuel energy to neighbouring Albania. In the winter, demand for energy increases, leading to cuts across the country. The scheduled cuts are two hours in length, take place throughout the day, and impact both households and businesses.