Kosovo bans cryptocurrency mining in face of European energy crisis


A cryptocurrency mining farm.

Image: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kosovo has banned cryptocurrency mining to curb energy consumption as part of efforts to ease the hit from Europe’s energy crisis.

In a statement on Facebook, Kosovo Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli said the cryptocurrency mining ban is intended to address both short and long-term energy shortages to protect the country’s economy.

Along with the ban, the government will also be allocating resources to identifying cryptocurrency mining locations, Rizvanolli said.

The eastern European country has been in a state of emergency since December as cold weather has knocked out local power plants and forced the government to import more energy than usual due to shortages. The energy shortage has reportedly led to many businesses and households facing blackouts and surging electricity bills.

The measures, which came into effect last week, were made based on recommendations from the government’s technical committee on emergency measures in energy supply.

The measures are similar to those reportedly made by the Iranian government this past year, which issued periodic cryptocurrency mining bans on two occasions in response to a series of blackouts across its major cities. The latest Iranian ban will be in place until March 6.

Other European countries, such as Sweden, have also opposed cryptocurrency mining due to the amount of energy it consumes. In an open letter penned to the European Union in November, Swedish authorities warned that the mining of cryptocurrencies undermines targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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