Tbilisi authorities have noticed a record amount of electricity being consumed in Northwestern Georgia due to illegal crypto farms. Authorities in Tbilisi have teamed up with the utility to address the power crisis in Svaneti, a mountainous area.
Georgia’s Tourism Crisis Has Caused People to Turn To Crypto Mining For Cheap Energy
Georgia is a tiny nation located in the Caucasus. Energo-pro, an energy distributor company, joined the effort to combat the illegal mining of cryptocurrencies by the Georgian government. The move was announced by the country’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava, at a press conference this week.
Novosti Georgia’s news agency said that the unusually high electricity consumption of mining farms located in Mestia, a historic city of Mestia, has been hot for over a month. Svaneti, which offers low electricity rates to businesses in mountainous regions has attracted many miners. Mestia residents have access to unlimited electrical energy.
Residents of Svaneti were forced to live with limited electricity supply until December 31st. The power grid was damaged and the supply system suffered severe shortages. Minister Turnava stated:
Illegal consumption of electricity, particularly given the issues with home-mined electricity, is not acceptable. To resolve the issue, we are currently working closely with both the local government as well Energopro Georgia that supplies electricity to Svaneti.
Mestia’s residents demanded the closure of all mining operations and accused the local authorities for protecting them. Energopro Georgia threatened to raise the regional electricity tariffs. Despite protests and this, the consumption has not fallen yet.
“Compared to previous years, consumption has grown by 237% this year,” the municipality of Mestia revealed in a statement last month. Residents involved in digital currency minting were also asked by the authorities to stop.
Natia Turnava stated that she hopes people living in the area will not compromise the tourism season. Svanetia and Mestia are known for their beautiful scenery, ancient traditions and medieval towers. Despite the decline in tourists due to the Covid-19 pandemic the locals found another source of income through mining.
Georgia was ranked second in the most lucrative location to mine bitcoins after China several years back, making it a hotspot for mining. A 2018 report by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, Georgia ranked second for electricity used for cryptocurrency mining. The nation’s percentage of global average monthly havehrate as of August 2021 was 0.18.
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