Kosovo Seizes Hundreds of Crypto Mining Machines in Crackdown – Mining Bitcoin News

Police in Kosovo have confiscated another batch of more than 200 miners as part of raids that began on Thursday. The attack on underground crypto farms began after authorities in Pristina banned the minting of energy-hungry cryptocurrencies amid the country’s energy crisis.

Kosovo authorities confiscate mining equipment in northern Serb majority

Law enforcement officers in Kosovo confiscated hundreds of mining machines as part of efforts to curb crypto mining activities in the face of electricity shortages. One person has been arrested in the latest police operation in the Serb-majority northern part of the country.

A statement issued by the Kosovo police revealed that the authorities had seized 272 devices used in the production of cryptocurrency in the municipality of Leposavic, according to Agence France-Presse. “The whole work was done and finished without incident,” Interior Minister Shellal Svikla noted in a Facebook post.

Finance Minister Hikoran Moratti also took to the social media platform to indicate that the estimated monthly consumption of mining equipment is equivalent to the energy used by 500 households, valued at between €60,000 and €120,000. Moratti also mentioned:

We cannot allow the illegal enrichment of some at the expense of taxpayers.

Data from the Ministry of Interior showed that the new confiscation brings the total number of rigs confiscated to 342 since the start of raids against miners earlier this week. The campaign began after the government in Pristina halted all mining operations on Tuesday, citing growing power shortages in the cold winter months.

Mining crackdown threatens to heighten ethnic tensions

Amid the government’s attack on mining facilities, tensions have risen between the central government in Kosovo, which is dominated by ethnic Albanians, and ethnic Serbs who form a majority in four municipalities in the north of the partially recognized republic in southeastern Europe. Serbs do not accept the authority of Pristina and have not paid for electricity for more than two decades, since the 1998-1999 Kosovo war.

The country’s public utilities still cover their bills from their own revenue, and according to estimates quoted by local media, the total amount is 12 million euros annually. The current energy crisis, exacerbated by insufficient domestic generation and high import prices, has shed light on this issue. The police also carried out two raids in predominantly Albanian areas and confiscated 70 mining equipment.

Economy Minister Artan Rizvanuli presented the ban on cryptocurrency mining as an emergency step, along with other measures proposed by a special parliamentary committee. However, critics have raised doubts about its legality as minting digital currencies is not prohibited by current legislation. A bill on regulating cryptocurrency submitted to Parliament in October has not been adopted.

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Do you expect the authorities in Kosovo to continue their crackdown on crypto miners? Share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tasev

Lubomir Tasev is an Eastern European technologist who likes to quote Hitchens: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are other sources of inspiration.

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