Bitcoin mining consumes enormous amounts of electricity. As a result, Bitcoin miners have often caused power outages earning the wrath of the nations. The story has been oft-repeated first in China, Iran, Kazakhstan, and the latest in Georgia. Miners had swamped the Swaneti town, lured by cheap electricity.
After COVID-19 impacted the tourism-driven economy of Svaneti town, many people began crypto mining to keep funds coming in. However, the mining had caused severe power outages, and residents of the city have vowed not to indulge in Bitcoin mining.
COVID-19 impacted regions turn to BTC mining
Bitcoin (BTC) is the reigning king of cryptocurrencies, and more and more people are getting into the business of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining involves complex mathematical calculations involving solving a complex proof of work algorithms on advanced computers. The process requires a massive amount of power. Cheap power is one of the main attractions which draw miners to such locations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many town residents to switch to mining as a source of income after the region’s economy dependent on tourism was crippled. However, Georgia’s Svaneti town residents have taken a holy oath against indulging in crypto mining. The decision comes in the backdrop of a power crisis impacting the region.
Low power tariffs are a big draw for Bitcoin miners
Protests hit the town after power outages precipitated by cryptocurrency mining. Sputnik Georgia’s news outlet also shared a clip showing people pledging a holy oath to St. George against mining cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency mining has also angered the environmentalists who see it as one of the worst polluters. As per estimates, 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide were released between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018. Most of the cheap electricity comes from coal-fired power plants.
In recent times many nations have tightened regulations against cryptocurrency mining. Police in Kosovo, a semi-independent region in the former Yugoslavia, have confiscated300 crypto mining machines to control “grey mining” from people’s houses, garages, and balconies. Kosovo has also enforced a blanket ban on crypto mining on January 5. Iran has also imposed a complete ban on crypto mining within its borders. As per Cambridge researchers, Bitcoin mining consumes around 121.36TWh of energy a year.