Over 100 crypto mining farms have been shut down in Kazakhstan, as the mining industry has come under fire in the country. According to the authorities, some of the facilities that terminated their operations are linked to former government officials and prominent businessmen in the country. China initiated a crackdown against the mining industry last year in September, which resulted in the expansion of the crypto mining sector in Kazakhstan. However, this expansion was considered the reason behind the blackouts and electricity shortages that have occurred in the country since then. As a matter of fact, the government has gone as far as claiming that the country’s economic security is at risk due to illegal mining operations.
The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-JomartTokayevordered inspections of crypto mining farms, which saw 55 of them shutting down their operations ‘voluntarily’. This was disclosed on Tuesday in an announcement by the Financial Monitoring Agency in Kazakhstan. These mining farms have suspended their activities completely and have even dismantled and moved their mining equipment from several locations. The watchdog was ordered by Tokayevin February to identify all the organizations that were minting digital currencies in the country and to verify their technical, customs as well as tax declarations.
The authority was told to carry out these checks in collaboration with some other government agencies and to provide a report in mid-March. Some of the mining farms that have shut down in Kazakhstan were affiliated with some renowned entrepreneurs in the country, including BolatNazarbayev and Alexander Klebanov. The former is the brother of Kazakhstan’s former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, while the latter hails from the Pavlodar region. Media reports have indicated that the brother of the former president has been engaging in crypto mining in the area of Northern Kazakhstan.
Business interests of the Nazarbayev family have been targeted by the administration of President Tokayev, after they quelled down the political unrest in the country back in January. This had also had an impact on crypto miners in the country. Some of the other prominent people who have allegedly invested in crypto mining include KairatSharipbaev, who is the chairman of the board of the energy company Qazaqgaz. Hailing from the Karaganda region, a prominent business by the name of ErlanNigmatulin is also said to have investments in the same sector.
51 illegal crypto farms have also been shut down by the government, as their owners had not notified the government before launching operations, or they had not obtained permission for connecting to the power grid without permission. A number of these mining farms were established in special economic zones, evading custom duties and tax. One of the illegal mining companies in the country has been linked to KairatItemgenov, one of the richest people in Kazakhstan. There are some other underground mining farms operating illegally that have been associated with the TleganMatkenov, who formerly served as the head of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. 25 criminal cases have been filed by the Financial Monitoring Agency so far.