Energy scarcity for Bitcoin mining prompts Kazakhstan to look for a nuclear solution

The exodus of Bitcoin miners from China to Kazakhstan has contributed to an energy crisis that the president of the Central Asian country has proposed to solve with nuclear power.

The Kazakh Ministry of Energy has attributed an 8% increase in national electricity consumption to Bitcoin miners compared to 2021. The country has received at least 87,849 bitcoin mining machines from Chinese companies in the past, after China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency mining, according to the Financial Times.

The significant surge in demand has resulted in a national electricity supply deficit and unreliable electricity services, according to the Kazakhstan Electric Network Exploitation Company. President Tokayev told bankers at a November 19 meeting that he believes building a nuclear power plant will help ease the burden on his country’s electrical infrastructure:

“With a view to the future, we will have to make an unpopular decision about building a nuclear power plant.”

Energy scarcity for Bitcoin mining prompts Kazakhstan to look for a nuclear solution
Energy scarcity for Bitcoin mining prompts Kazakhstan to look for a nuclear solution

Although Tokayev did not link the proposal to the use of energy for bitcoin mining, If the miners are not kept in the country, the estimated $ 1.58 billion in tax revenues that these miners represent could be jeopardized. The shortage of electricity has already forced the Bitcoin mining market? Xiveâ ???? Leave Kazakhstan. Didar Bekbau, co-founder of Xive, said in a tweet on November 25th that he had to close his company’s mining farm because of “limited electricity supply from the grid”.

Kazakhstan is now home to 50 registered cryptocurrency mining companies and an unknown number of unregistered companies.

The decision to build new nuclear power plants is serious in a country that suffered severe nuclear fallout from weapons tests during the Soviet occupation. The last nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan was closed in 1999.

For now, About 88% of Kazakhstan’s energy comes from fossil fuel power plants.

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