Kazakhstan crypto miners will have their energy supply cut off from Jan. 24 until the end of the month, three people in the local industry told CoinDesk.
A memo from national grid operator KEGOC, dated Jan. 21 and seen by CoinDesk, said that “the planned supply of electricity to persons engaged in digital mining is completely canceled” from Jan. 24 until midnight Jan. 31. Kazakhstan’s energy grid has been struggling to meet power demand, especially during the winter. KEGOC said it will consider rolling the limitations back if the energy situation improves.The memo was signed by KEGOC Managing Director for System Services and NES Development Bekhzan Mukatov and sent to 196 power generating, transmission and energy trading companies.Making matters worse is that a major transmission line was disconnected after a “significant emergency imbalance” in the Central Asian power system led to a power surge in Kazakhstan’s North-East-South 500 kilovolt (kV) power transmission line, KEGOC said on Tuesday. On the same day, major cities in Kazakhstan and in neighboring Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan subsequently suffered power outages, Reuters reported.Kazakhstan was home to about one-fifth of the world’s bitcoin mining at the end of August 2021, according to data from the University of Cambridge Center of Alternative Finance. But local miners have been faced with electricity rationing during the current shortage. Some miners are looking overseas to grow their businesses, particularly given that the government has proposed a 100 megawatt energy limit for all new crypto mines.