Crypto Mining Machines Report by Kosvo’s Police Amid Electricity Shortage

The confiscation of crypto mining devices, according to the country’s Economy Minister, will save “tens of thousands of Euros every month,” while also supplying “electricity for hundreds of Kosovar families.”

Kosovo’s police have stepped up their efforts to crack down on cryptocurrency miners, seizing more than 300 mining machines on Jan. 8.

The Kosovo police announced on Jan. 8 that they had confiscated 272 “Antminer” Bitcoin mining machines in the municipality of Leposavic, as well as another 39 mining machines near Prishtina.

Meanwhile, near Druar, in Vushtrri, police stopped a motorist carrying six crypto mining computers with 42 graphics cards (GPUs). The driver was questioned and then released.

“Tens of thousands of Euros each month of taxpayers’ money is saved = energy for hundreds of Kosovar families during the crisis,” Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli tweeted in favour of the Kosovo police.

Kosovo’s energy squeeze

Kosovo declared a state of emergency for 60 days in December due to an energy crisis and power outages. Since then, on January 5, the Minister of Economy imposed a blanket ban on crypto mining. Over 40% of Kosovo’s energy is now imported.

According to report , Bitcoin mining consumes 101 TWh per year, or more energy than the Philippines as a whole. Despite this, miners are increasingly relying on renewable energy sources, particularly in the United States, which has emerged as the new mining hub.

Crypto mining has been on the rise in Kosovo for some time, according to The Paypers, a news platform located in the Netherlands. Since the end of the Kosovo War in 1999, energy has remained free for anyone residing in the Serb-majority Northern municipalities until recently.

Electricity network system operator KOSTT declared at the end of November 2021 that it would no longer provide free electricity to the four municipalities in the country’s north: Mitrovica North, Zvecan, Zubin Potok, and Leposavic.

The Balkan country was a part of Serbia until 2008, when it proclaimed independence, and it has continued to receive these benefits since then. Several other countries, notably Iran and Kazakhstan, have raised worry over mining-related power outages in recent months.