Soviet Union region closes cryptocurrency miners that used stolen electricity

Charlie Taylor

Authorities in Abkhazia, Georgia's breakaway region, closed two cryptocurrency mining farms in Ochamchira, a coastal town, and seized 82 machines that used stolen electricity. The information and a video of the action were shared on Wednesday (4) by the energy company Chernomorenergo. “The farms have now been eliminated,” the company wrote in the description of material posted on its Facebook page, stressing that the activity violates a government-imposed mining ban to alleviate electricity shortages. The Abkhaz government blames cryptocurrency mining for several blackouts that occurred in the region last year. In December, authorities raided homes, factories and even restaurants to cut power lines. In November, Abkhazia's energy company, Chernomorenergo, was forced to introduce continuous blackouts to prevent a power meltdown.

Cryptocurrency Miners Protest

It wasn't the first time that authorities in Abkhazia have attacked Ochamchira's cryptocurrency miners. Last month, according to information from the Russian version of the Sputnik website. the small town faced police with a demonstration after several miners lost their equipment. “These people just want to work in peace,” community representative Artimon Gabilaya told the vehicle, revealing that most have between three and five mining machines.

Cheap energy stimulated mining

Abkhazia, an autonomous republic in the Black Sea region, was once part of the Soviet Union. Authorities now see their independence supported by the Russian Federation. Interest in digital asset mining in Abkhazia dates back to 2016. Hundreds of mining companies have been created in the region. The activity proved profitable there because of the cheap cost of electricity. In 2018, the government tried to stop the activity, but it was not very successful, as the import of mining hardware was still legal there. In September 2020, authorities lifted the ban and tried to raise energy tariffs for the activity.

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