According to the Jam News report, government’s year-old ban on crypto mining has not been respected nor enforced by the local authorities, with crypto miners continuing to take advantage of the area’s low energy costs. The director of operational and technological management of Chernomorenergo, Abkhazia’s official energy, Ruslan Kvarchia, said that the total capacity of the mining equipment operating in the republic is at least 40–45 megawatts. Abkhazia is a de facto state in the South Caucasus. The energy consumed by bitcoin can now be compared to the energy consumed by the Czech Republic. Founder junior associates from different crypto firms have addressed the issue of bitcoin’s energy consumption.
The government is considering lifting the ban on crypto mining activities.
Instead of further tightening regulations around cryptocurrency mining, local officials are thinking of a different solution. Authorities are considering lifting the ban and allowing all crypto mining activities across the region. Allowing miners to operate in the light of day could, according to the government, improve communication between all parties involved: energy providers, miners, and the local authorities. The government believes that revoking the ban will allow for closer supervision of mining facilities and, therefore, it would allow better control over the electricity supply.
The region witnessed a surge in crypto mining activities in 2020, despite crypto-related activities being outlawed. Customs reported that mining hardware worth over $589,000 had crossed the nation’s border over the past six months.
Energy consumption by bitcoin is now comparable to the Czech Republic.
As reported earlier, Bitcoin’s estimated energy consumption and environmental impact has increased quite significantly in the recent past. The energy consumption grew due to the massive power demands of mining rigs until May’s halving event, at which point it fell off a cliff as mining rewards were slashed in half. According to Digiconomist, which tracks the estimated total power consumption of the entire Bitcoin network, the leading cryptocurrency is currently estimated to use 67.927 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year.