In raids that began Thursday in Kosovo, another group of more than 200 miners was seized by police. After authorities in Pristina declared an end to the production of power-hungry digital currency, the offensive was initiated against underground crypto farms.
Kosovo Authorities Confiscate Mining Hardware to Serb Majority North
As part of an effort to stop crypto mining activity in light of the electricity crisis, law enforcement officers from Kosovo confiscated hundreds upon hundreds of mining equipment. The latest operation by police in Kosovo’s predominantly Serb north saw one arrest.
According to AFP reports, a Kosovo police statement revealed that authorities had seized 272 devices for producing cryptocurrency in Leposavic. “The whole action took place and ended without incidents,” Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla noted in a post on Facebook.
Finance Minister Hekuran Murati also took to the social media platform to point out that the estimated monthly consumption of the mining equipment is as much as the power used by 500 homes, worth between €60,000 and €120,000 euros. Murati added:
It is unacceptable to allow illegal enrichment at taxpayers’ expense.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Interior, the new confiscation brings the total number of miner rigs that were seized since raids on miners began earlier in the week to 342 After the Pristina government declared a shutdown of all mining operations Tuesday due to the increasing power shortage in winter, the crackdown was initiated.
Mine Crackdown May Increase Ethnic Tensions
Tensions are high in Kosovo between the central government, which is dominated ethnically by Albanians and the four northern municipalities of South East Europe’s partially-recognized republic. Serbs do not accept the authority of Pristina and have not paid for electricity in over two decades, since the 1998 – 1999 Kosovo war.
The country’s public utility is still covering their bills from its own revenues and according to estimates quoted by local media, the total amounts to €12 million a year. Insufficient local production and higher import prices have exacerbated the energy crisis. This has brought this issue to our attention. Two raids were also conducted by police in areas populated by ethnic Albanians, where 70 mine devices were seized.
Artane Rizaolli, the Economy Minister presented the ban on cryptomining as an emergency measure. Critics have raised concerns about the legality of the ban on crypto mining, as it isn’t prohibited under the existing legislation. The parliament has yet to adopt a draft law regarding cryptocurrency regulation that was submitted in October.
What do you think of the Kosovo authorities continuing to crackdown crypto miners? Comment below to share your views.
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