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Crypto Miners in Kazakhstan Face Bitter Winter of Power Cuts

Illegal miners and mass relocations after a ban on crypto mining in China have overloaded energy grid. From a report: Matthew Heard, a software engineer from San Jose, is worried about his 33 bitcoin mining machines in Kazakhstan. In the past week, they kept getting shut off in an attempt by the national grid to limit the power being used by crypto miners. “It has been days since my machines have been online,” he said. “During the last week, even if my machines do come on, they barely stay on.” Kazakhstan has been struggling to cope with the huge popularity of crypto mining, driven this year partly by the steep rise in value of cryptocurrencies and partly by a mass migration of miners to its borders after China made mining illegal in May.

After three major power plants in the north of the country went into emergency shutdown last month the state grid operator, Kegoc, warned that it would start rationing power to the 50 crypto miners that are registered with the government, and said they would be “isconnected first” if the grid suffers problems. Heard set up in Kazakhstan in August and his machines are managed by Enegix, a company that rents out space to run crypto mining machines. He said his income has dropped from an average of $1,200 worth of bitcoin per day to $800 in October, and in the past week his machines have only been on for 55 per cent of the time. Machine owners are not notified when shutdowns are going to happen or when they will go back online, he said.

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