The global computing power of the bitcoin network has dropped sharply as the shutdown this week of Kazakhstan’s internet during a deadly uprising hit the country’s fast-growing cryptocurrency mining industry.
Kazakhstan became last year the world’s second-largest centre for bitcoin mining after the United States, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, after major hub China clamped down on crypto mining activity.
Russia sent paratroopers into Kazakhstan on Thursday to help put down the countrywide uprising after violence spread across the tightly controlled former Soviet state. Police said they had killed dozens of rioters in the main city Almaty, while state television said 13 members of the security forces had died.
The internet was on Wednesday shut down across the country in what monitoring site Netblocks called “a nation-scale internet blackout.”