Kosovo police and customs authorities have confiscated more than 300 Bitcoin mining machines amid a crackdown on the energy-intensive crypto-mining industry.
“We cannot allow the illegal enrichment of some, at the expense of taxpayers,” said Finance Minister Hekuran Murati.
According to Murati, it is estimated that the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining each month is equivalent to that of 500 homes, with a loss valued at around €60,000 to €120,000 Euros.
Last week, Kosovo — which imports more than 40% of its energy needs — banned crypto mining due to worsening energy shortages. A special parliamentary committee also proposed other measures to cut the energy impact of Bitcoin mining.
In December, the country declared a month-long state of emergency on account of the electricity crisis, but over the past week, authorities in Kosovo have conducted multiple raids and confiscated essential Bitcoin mining equipment across the country’s north.
Bitcoin mining is taxing on energy grids globally. Cointelegraph estimates that Bitcoin mining takes 101 TWh or more of energy per year than the entire economy of the Philippines.
In Kazakhstan, for example, crypto miners take up to 8% of the country’s total power generation capacity. During the recent unrest, when internet shutdowns blocked mining operations, the Central Asian country’s hashrate plummeted by 18 percent. Kazakhstan remains the world’s largest supplier of Bitcoin’s hashrate after the United States.
In October, Kosovo submitted a draft law on cryptocurrency to the parliament, but it is still awaiting adoption. Currently, there is no law in Kosovo prohibiting the minting of cryptocurrencies.