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Kosovo Government Seize 300 Crypto Mining Machines Amidst Energy Concerns

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Kosovo Government Seize 300 Crypto Mining Machines Amidst Energy Concerns
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Police authorities in Kosovo have stepped up their efforts to crack down on cryptocurrency miners, seizing more than 300 mining machines on the 8th of January, 2022.

Kosovo police announced on January 8 that they had confiscated 272 “Antminer” Bitcoin mining machines in the municipality of Leposavic and another 39 mining machines near Prishtina.

Meanwhile, near Druar, in Vushtrri, police stopped a motorist carrying six crypto mining computers with 42 graphics cards (GPUs). The driver was questioned and then released.

The confiscation of crypto mining devices, according to the country’s Economy Minister, will save “tens of thousands of Euros every month,” while also supplying “electricity for hundreds of Kosovar families.”

Energy Problems in Kosovo

Kosovo declared a state of emergency for 60 days in December due to an energy crisis and power outages. Since then, on January 5, 2022, the Minister of Economy imposed a blanket ban on crypto mining as the country currently imports over 40% of its energy.

Bitcoin mining consumes 101 TWh per year or more energy than the Philippines. Despite this, crypto miners increasingly rely on renewable energy sources, particularly in the United States, which has emerged as the new mining hub.

Crypto mining has been on the rise in Kosovo for some time, according to The Paypers, a news platform located in the Netherlands. Since the end of the Kosovo war, power has been free for residents of the Serb-majority Northern communities until recently.

At the end of Nov 2021, Electricity network system operator KOSTT announced that it would no longer supply free power to the four municipalities in the country’s North: Mitrovica North, Zvecan, Zubin Potok, and Leposavic.

The Balkan country was part of Serbia until 2008 when it declared independence and upheld these subsidies. In recent months, several other nations have also expressed concerns about mining-related power outages, including Iran and Kazakhstan.

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