Amid growing concerns over the energy sector in Kyrgyzstan, a former government official has argued that cryptocurrency mining is a major factor driving the energy crisis.
Daniyar Akmatov, former director of the state investment protection organization, the Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, addressed the challenges in Kyrgyzstan’s energy sector at a roundtable in Bishkek, local news agency Tazabek reported on Wednesday.
The former official said that crypto mining is causing issues for the country’s energy sector, alongside other factors like the devaluation of the Kyrgyz som and poor promotion of energy investment.
“Consumption of electricity due to cryptocurrency mining has increased and this has led to an energy crisis,” Akmatov said, adding: “The som is depreciating because of the rise in the dollar exchange rate, and Kyrgyzstan is an import-dependent country and tariffs also depend on it.”
Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov recently proposed raising household tariffs for electricity as a way to address the ongoing energy shortage. Japarov said that local power companies are 129 billion soms ($1.5 billion) in debt, and he claimed that the country’s core power infrastructure has been outdated for years due to corruption among top state officials.
Kyrgyzstan has sought to regulate crypto mining activities in the country but is yet to adopt any concrete regulations.
Other countries have also blamed Bitcoin (BTC) mining for the energy shortages. Abkhazia has experienced an electricity crunch reportedly due to the 625 crypto mining farms that call the small autonomous region home.