The government of Kosovo has banned cryptocurrency mining, citing the country’s energy crisis. According to Economy and Energy Minister Artane Rizvanolli, the authorities will find out where cybercurrencies are produced and then take action. Outages in coal-fired power plants and high import prices have plunged Kosovo into the worst energy crisis in a decade. Electricity is also used for heating in the country on the Western Balkans.
The country currently imports more than 40 percent of its energy, around 90 percent of domestic production comes from lignite – it is considered environmentally harmful because in coal almost only carbon contributes to the combustion energy. This then becomes carbon dioxide. Last month, the Kosovo government responded with power cuts.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS
Comparatively low electricity prices in Kosovo have led to a boom in crypto mining in recent years. New digital coins are generated by computer, often associated with high energy consumption. In numbers: According to the media ("Reuters"), a crypto miner said that he pays around 170 euros per month for electricity in Kosovo and makes a profit of around 2,400 euros during this time – a tempting alternative with 26 percent unemployment.
According to Uwe Burkert, chief economist at Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, global warming could increase by two degrees over the next 30 years due to the high energy consumption due to the mining of cryptocurrencies alone.
Bitcoin is the world's oldest and most important cyber currency. Since 2008, it has experienced a rapid increase in value – albeit with spectacular fluctuations in value.
Interest in other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (Ether), Litecoin and Ripple is also increasing. Many central banks are currently examining the introduction of digital versions of their currencies.