Lawful crypto mines will not face restrictions or be disconnected from the national grid, as long as they don’t compromise the country’s energy security, Kazakhstan Minister of Energy Magzum Mirzagaliyev said at a meeting with the mining industry, according to a ministry press release on Wednesday.
Electricity has been in short supply in the fossil fuel-dependent Kazakhstan following an influx of miners this year. The national grid operator KEGOC has been rationing power to miners since September, and the government has proposed a bill that would cap the supply of power provided through the national grid to new mines to 100 megawatts.
Mirzagaliyev called on the lawful miners to jointly search for “solutions to ensure the reliability of the unified electric power system.”
Local blockchain and data center industry associations said they are prepared to import electricity and invest in renewable energy projects.
Alan Dordzhiev, chairman of the Association of the Blockchain and Data Center and Technology Industry, said the government and private sector should work together to fight “gray” miners, mostly in the southern parts of Kazakhstan, that tap into the grid without proper approval.
At the meeting, the ministries of energy and digital development, the Kazakhstan Association of Blockchain Technologies and the Association of Blockchain and Data Center and Technology Industry, as well as KEGOC signed a protocol to prevent electricity rationing, develop demand reforms to balance the energy market, and attract investment for renewable energy projects.
Kazakhstan has emerged as the world’s number two bitcoin miner behind the U.S., after China’s crackdown on crypto this May. The crypto industry is expected to bring in 500 billion tenge (US$1.16 billion) within the next five years, according to the ministry statement.