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Kazakhstan cracks down on 106 illegal crypto miners

15 Mar 2022 : 12:16
2 min read
  • Kazakhstan's crackdown on illegal crypto miners had forced another 106 miners to cease operations
  • Some well-known political and business figures have been discovered to be involved in crypto mining
  • Kazakhstan has been experiencing severe power shortages since the fall of 2021

Today, the government announced that Kazakhstan’s crackdown on illegal crypto miners had forced another 106 miners to cease operations.

Well-known individuals were said to own the mines

The statement said that following investigations by the country’s financial regulator and other state agencies, 55 of the mines had closed voluntarily, and 51 have been forced to cease operations. The statement said that the 51 are suspected of evading taxes and customs duties and placing equipment in special economic zones without authorization.

During the inspections, some well-known political and business figures were found to be involved in crypto mining. According to the statement, they are Bolat Nazarbayev, the brother of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev; Alexander Klebanov, the chairman of the Central Asian Electric Power Corp., which provides electricity to more than 2 million people, according to its website; and Kairat Itegmenov, listed by Forbes as the 17th richest man in Kazakhstan.

Concerns about electricity

Kazakhstan has been experiencing severe power shortages since the fall of 2021, due partly to an influx of crypto miners from China and infrastructure deficiencies. Since the beginning of 2021, electricity demand in Kazakhstan has increased by about eight percent. That’s a significant increase over the one to two percent the country sees typically annually.

The government has decided to crack down on illegal mines to solve energy problems. In late February, the government announced that it had uncovered illegal crypto mines worth 202 megawatts. In total, the financial regulator has opened 25 criminal cases and seized 67,000 machines worth 100 billion Kazakh tenges ($193 million).


About Author

Stan Colenbrander

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Stan is the head of news and podcast host at Cryptonary. He was formerly a member of the Cryptonary Pro community. In early 2021, he decided to drop out of journalism school at university to pursue journalism in real life and make an impact in the crypto space. . His areas of interest include the NFT industry, decentralised finance, and crypto start-ups.

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