Amid a recent energy crisis in the country, the police in Kosovo are cracking down on cryptocurrency mining ventures to curtail energy shortage in the country.
The police in Kosovo have seized 300 cryptocurrency mining machines as the country continues to face energy shortage. This was revealed by the country’s Minister of Economy in a tweet on January 8, which alluded that the move by the police would save the country tens of thousands of Euro monthly.
According to an announcement by the Kosovo police, authorities took hold of more than 300 mining machines on January 8. The report stated that 277 Antminers were confiscated in the municipality of Leposavic, while 39 of the machines were taken hold of in Prishtina. Another seizure comprising 6 cryptocurrency mining machines and 42 graphic cards (GPUs) near Druar in Vushtrri resulted in the arrest of the driver conveying them. The police statement however shows that the driver has been released after an interrogation from the police.
Minister Backs Seizures By The Police
Artane Rizvanolli, the Kosovo Minister of Economy announced her support for the move by the police to curtail mining activities in the above mentioned tweet, adding that it would help save Kosovar families the inconvenience of shortage of energy which the country has grappled with since December 2021.
Kosovo, which has been making up its energy shortage through an import of 40% of its energy needs, placed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency mining on January 5, 2022. This was after the country declared a 60-day emergency on its energy sector last December.
Conservationists Concerns About Effects
The massive power demand of Bitcoin mining has raised concerns, especially among conservationists. Bitcoin mining consumes 101 TWh annually. This is more than the total energy demand of a country such as the Philippines and has resulted in calls for a shift to greener energy sources for the mining of Bitcoin.
The recent energy shortage in Kosovo came about as the country became host to several crypto mining businesses. A recent report by Paypers, a Netherland-based news portal reported that crypto mining is an increasingly popular venture in Kosovo and could be a contributory factor to the energy crisis facing the country.