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posted by martyb on Saturday January 08, @10:43AM   Printer-friendly
from the charge-the-miners-more? dept.

Kosovo bans cryptocurrency mining after blackouts:

The government says security services will identify and clamp down on sources of cryptocurrency mining.

The mining is energy intensive and involves verifying digital transactions to get cryptocurrencies as a reward.

While all of Europe faces sharp price rises, Kosovo is enforcing rolling blackouts amid an electricity shortage.

The Balkan state's largest coal-fired power plant was shut down last month over a technical issue, forcing the government to import electricity at high prices.

A 60-day state of emergency, declared in December, 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, including low supplies from Russia and high demand for natural gas as economies recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The spike has been fuelled by geopolitical tensions with Russia, which supplies one third of Europe's gas. Russia has rejected European accusations that it has limited gas deliveries while tensions are raised


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Saturday January 08, @12:32PM (3 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 08, @12:32PM (#1211039) Journal

    While all of Europe faces sharp price rises, Kosovo is enforcing rolling blackouts amid an electricity shortage.

    The Balkan state's largest coal-fired power plant was shut down last month over a technical issue, forcing the government to import electricity at high prices.

    A 60-day state of emergency, declared in December, gave the government powers to allocate more money for energy imports and impose stricter restrictions on power usage.

    One obvious problem with this narrative is that cryptomining is driven by electricity prices. If electricity is expensive, they'll mine somewhere else. So if it's really a problem, while energy imports are expensive, that means someone is heavily subsidizing electricity consumption. Time to stop doing that.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 08, @02:33PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 08, @02:33PM (#1211056)

    So if it's really a problem, while energy imports are expensive, that means someone is heavily subsidizing electricity consumption. Time to stop doing that.

    Maybe electricity for residential use is cheaper there. Obvious solution is to increase the cost of higher usage tiers significantly. So the poor can still get cheap electricity for "base consumption" but those doing significant mining will have higher costs.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Saturday January 08, @04:13PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 08, @04:13PM (#1211071) Homepage Journal

    cryptomining is driven by electricity prices.

    I disagree.

    https://www.hackread.com/police-seize-illegal-cryptomining-farm-ps4/ [hackread.com]

    Stolen electricity amounted to roughly $259,300 monthly
    As per the current estimates, the stolen electricity amounted from between $186,200 to $259,300 monthly. Officials state that they raided the farm as well as the offenders’ residences, and some of the hardware was recovered from there.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=police+raid+cryptomining+stolen+electricity&atb=v306-1&ia=web [duckduckgo.com]

    It is my position that most cryptocurrency is a scam. Stolen electricity just adds to the scam. There is no evidence that any cryptominer has ever provided even a single crust of bread for homeless and hungry.

    --
    “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 09, @12:10AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 09, @12:10AM (#1211161) Journal
      Conversely, if they're already stealing the power and committing fraud, they're not going to stop because crypto-mining is illegal.