Kazakhstan, which has the second largest mining hash rate (BTC) in the world, is experiencing major internet outages amid local protests against the government.
The NetBlocks network data provider reported On Wednesday, Kazakhstan was “in the midst of a nationwide internet blackout after a day of mobile internet outages and partial restrictions”.. According to the data, normalized network connectivity in Kazakhstan fell to 2% on Wednesday.
“The incident is likely to severely limit coverage of the escalating anti-government protests,” noted NetBlocks.
Kazakhtelecom, Kazakhstan’s largest telecommunications company, has reportedly shut down the internet across the country. Cellular networks have also been disabled in some cities, such as Almaty.
Kazakhstan’s ongoing internet shutdown comes following the resignation of the Kazakh government over protests sparked by a sharp rise in fuel prices. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev deposed the Kazakh government early on Wednesday and declared a state of emergency in Almaty and the surrounding province.
According to some analysts, the protests are also a reaction to the lack of democracy in the country. “Young, internet-savvy Kazakhs, especially in Almaty, probably want similar freedoms as Ukrainians, Georgians, Moldovans, Kyrgyz and Armenians, who have also left their frustration with authoritarian regimes over the years. “Tim Ash, emerging markets strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said.
The protests took a violent turn, with reports of ongoing shooting between protesters and state security agencies, including the police and the National Guard.
Heavy and continuous gunfire in #Kazakhstan today. pic.twitter.com/nraG3ZySnf
to???? Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) January 5, 2022
The recent internet outages could affect Bitcoin’s global hash rate. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, as of October 2021, Kazakhstan accounted for 18% of the total global BTC mining hash rate distribution, second only to the United States.
Many Chinese bitcoin mining companies and miners increasingly relocated their services to Kazakhstan after the Chinese government announced a renewed ban on the cryptocurrency industry in September 2021.