Kazakhstan’s government has cracked down on illegal miners
According to a government statement released today, Kazakhstan’s crackdown on illegal crypto mining has caused another 106 miners, some of which are associated with large businesses and ex-officials, to stop operating.
“They include firms affiliated with well-known entrepreneurs Bolat Nazarbayev and Alexander Klebanov in Pavlodar region, Kairat Sharipbaev, ex-chairman of the board of QazaqGaz National Company JSC in Aktobe region, and well-known businessman Yerlan Nigmatulin in Karaganda region,” according to the regulators.
55 companies voluntarily halted operations, removed equipment, and moved it. Other 51 mines have been forced to close because they are suspected of evading taxes and customs, as well as putting equipment in special economic zones without permission.
During the checks, it was discovered that certain well-known politicians and business figures were participating in crypto mining. Bolat Nazarbayev, the brother of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Alexander Klebanov, the chairman of Central Asian Electric Power Corp., which provides electricity to more than 2 million people, and Kairat Itegmenov, Kazakhstan’s 17th-richest man, were among those named in the statement.
Since autumn 2021, the country has been experiencing significant energy shortages, owing in part to an inflow of crypto miners from China, but also to infrastructural breakdowns. To solve the energy problem, the administration has chosen to crack down on unauthorized miners.
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