The crypto mining crisis in Abkhazia is closely reaching its boiling point following the burnout of a power substation amid the refusal of both illegal and legal crypto miners to slow down their operations in the state.
Crypto Mining Crisis Abkhazia Keeps Worsening
Sputnik Abkhazia has reported that an incident happened over the weekend, specifically on December 5, 2020, as distribution lines and power cells were affected by the overheating of the Sukhum-1 substation.
The situation forced them to call out experts from all the branches of the energy provider Chernomorenergo to work throughout the weekend in containing the damage, which also provoked a massive blackout across the de facto South Caucasus state.
Experts consulted by Sputnik pointed out that the incident is not likely related to large-scale crypto mining farms, as it’s probably tied to smaller-scale rig operators who run between five to ten farms from their homes.
However, it still represents a threat to the security of the power supply, as this segment is much harder to trace than larger farms that run massive rigs simultaneously, experts clarified.
Not the First Major Crypto Mining-Related Incident in the State
This is not an isolated incident in the midst of the surge of crypto mining operations in Abkhazia. Back on November 24, 2020, angry villagers kicked out miners from their regions, who are “tired” of living an out-of-control situation regarding the crypto mining activities.
The crisis has put top lawmakers in a dilemma since there are divided opinions on the matter. Radio Free Europe interviewed a 67-year-old resident of Sukhumi, who stated that life was better in the “hard times” after the war, as blackouts have been a constant and it’s becoming even worse than before. She added:
We have to get used to the schedule that they dictate to us. It’s very difficult, because it’s constant: The lights are on, the water’s off; the water’s on, the lights are off. Or the Internet goes off. You can’t even turn on the washing machine to do the wash.
On October 3, 2020, the disputed territory of just 245,000 people between Russia and Georgia lifted its two-year ban on crypto mining activities.
According to figures published by Radio Free Europe, crypto mining farms in Abkhazia consume about 40 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. Still, some engineers even estimate that it crosses the 120 million kilowatt-hours threshold, representing a significant percentage of the de facto state’s overall demand.
Politicians are reportedly still discussing the matter by looking for an immediate solution, stated Sputnik.