As Kazakhstan plunged into chaos this week, an internet shutdown caused the world’s second-biggest bitcoin mining hub to shut down, in yet another blow to miners searching for a permanent and stable home. Less than a year ago, China had banished all of its cryptocurrency miners, many of whom sought refuge in the neighboring country Kazakhstan. Crypto miners took refuge in countries where energy prices were as compared to other countries.
Internet shut down causes bitcoin mining hubs to shut down.
Only a few months after these crypto migrants set up mining hubs in Kazakhstan, protests over surging fuel prices have morphed into the worst unrest the country has seen in decades, leaving crypto miners caught in the middle. After sacking his government and requesting the aid of Russian paratroopers to contain the fatal violence, president Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered the nation’s telecom provider to shutter internet service. Reportedly, the shutdown took an estimated 15% of the world’s bitcoin miners offline, according to Kevin Zhang of digital currency company Foundry, which helped bring over $400 million of mining equipment into North America.
Bitcoin dropped below $43,000 for the first time since September.
Bitcoin dropped below $43,000 for the first time since September in trade this week, falling over 8% at one point. Internet service was briefly restored in the country, but data from monitoring group NetBlocks Internet Observatory shows that connectivity levels continue to flatline at just 5% of ordinary levels across the country. “It’s now Friday morning in Kazakhstan where the internet has been shut down for some 36 hours, placing public safety at risk and leaving friends and family cut off,” NetBlocks wrote in a tweet.