Kazakhstan Introduces Surcharge for Electricity Used by Crypto Miners

Cryptocurrency miners in Kazakhstan will pay more than other consumers for the electricity they use to mint digital coins. The country’s president has signed a law that imposes an additional fee for the power utilized by the energy intensive industry.

Coin Miners in Kazakhstan to Pay Extra Fee per Kilowatt-hour of Electricity

Crypto mining entities in Kazakhstan are going to pay a surcharge for the electrical energy they burn. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has signed a new law this week amending the Central Asian republic’s legislation “on taxes and other obligatory payments to the budget.”

The bill, which was voted by the Senate earlier in June, introduces a new fee of 1 Kazakhstani tenge (approx. $0.0023) per kilowatt-hour used by cryptocurrency miners. The new electricity rate will be imposed starting from Jan. 1, 2022, Forklog reported.

Authorities in Nur-Sultan claim the additional charge will “bring out of the shadow” those cryptocurrency miners that currently operate in the gray economy. Albert Rau, the lawmaker named by local media as the author of the bill, said he couldn’t foresee any “critical consequences” from its adoption. Rau insists the parliament has approved a “government version” of the initially proposed amendments.

Crypto Industry Fears New Electricity Rate Will Turn Chinese Miners Away

Representatives of the crypto sector disagree with Rau’s position, warning that the move comes at a very inappropriate moment. Members of Kazakhstan’s National Association of Blockchain and Data Center Industry told the crypto news outlet that the decision “will have a very negative impact on the investment attractiveness of the industry.”

The main concern is that the fee could turn away Chinese companies that have been looking around for other jurisdictions amid the ongoing crackdown on cryptocurrency mining in the People’s Republic. Kazakhstan has been considered among other potential mining destinations, as over the past few years the country has gradually warmed towards the crypto industry.

In May, Shenzhen-based Bit Mining announced it’s planning to build a 100 MW mining data center in Kazakhstan in partnership with two local firms. In June, as Chinese authorities intensified the pressure on bitcoin mining operations, the company started shipping mining devices there. Earlier this month, the Hangzhou-headquartered mining hardware manufacturer Canaan established an after-sales service center in Kazakhstan as more Chinese miners are considering relocation to Central Asia.

What effect do you think the new fee will have on the crypto mining industry in Kazakhstan? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

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