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Bitcoin Network Power Slumps as Kazakhstan Crackdown Hits Crypto Miners

In August last year, Kazakhstan accounted for 18 percent of the global “hashrate” — crypto lingo for the amount of computing power being used by computers on the bitcoin network.
Bitcoin network power slumps as Kazakhstan crackdown hits crypto miners
Troops are seen at the main square where hundreds of people were protesting against the government, after authorities’ decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 6, 2022.Mariya Gordeyeva / Reuters

NBC News

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.”

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