In Could 2023, Kazakhstan’s share of the worldwide Bitcoin mining hashrate stood at 4%, down from its peak of 18% in October 2021. Kazakhstan’s mining trade boomed between 2020 and 2021, pushed by low-cost electrical energy, internet hosting demand, entry to low-cost Chinese language machines, relaxed rules, and tax advantages, in keeping with a Hashrate Index report.
With the rise in hashrate share, Kazakhstan’s complete Bitcoin mining load jumped to 1.5 GW in October 2021 from 200 MW a yr and a half in the past. Unable to deal with the load, the nation’s vitality supplier began rationing energy provide to Bitcoin miners in September 2021. So miners might solely use costly electrical energy imported from Russia, inflicting many miners to go bankrupt, the report famous.
The nation carried out the brand new regulation “On Digital Property within the Republic of Kazakhstan” on April 1. The regulation requires miners to acquire licenses to function and use solely licensed mining swimming pools and crypto exchanges. It additionally places miners final in line for energy provide and launched a mining-related electrical energy tax.
Understanding the affect of the brand new rules
Firstly, the brand new regulation requires all mining swimming pools to be licensed and report their earnings to the Kazakhstan authorities for taxation. The miners and crypto exchanges need to be registered within the Astana Worldwide Monetary Centre (AIFC), as per the brand new rules.
Secondly, miners are required to promote a part of their Bitcoin holdings on regionally licensed exchanges — there are presently seven exchanges miners can select from, together with Binance. At present, miners have to promote 25% of the Bitcoin regionally whereas by 2024, they’ll be required to promote half. The requirement will go as much as 75% by 2025.
Thirdly, as per the brand new regulation, miners can solely purchase energy by way of the nationwide electrical energy public sale system KOREM, which can have a separate miner-focused buying and selling platform. Mainly, the nationwide grid operator will decide how a lot electrical energy is “extra” and put it up for public sale and miners need to win the public sale to purchase energy. The quantity of energy that will likely be accessible for public sale won’t be ample for all Kazakhstan miners, who need to look in direction of different sources of energy era.
Fourthly, if miners purchase energy by way of the public sale system or import it from Russia, they need to pay a tax, which units the ground worth of electrical energy at $0.055 per kWh. It is a considerably excessive price, which suggests miners can’t depend on buying energy in the long run. The brand new regulation additionally applies a flat tax of $0.022 per kWh on electrical energy from renewable sources.
The longer term is foggy
In line with the report, the brand new regulation might both present regulatory stability or its stringent taxation might kill the trade. But it surely stays to be seen how the regulation will actually affect the miners, which makes the longer term unsure.
Within the meantime, Kazakhstan miners have to hunt for brand new sources of electrical energy, with gasoline, wind, and photo voltaic holding essentially the most potential, as per the report.
Moreover, the instability over the previous yr has made overseas traders averse to investments in Kazakhstan, which has decreased the short-term potential of the trade. Nevertheless, the report famous that the nation’s mining trade holds long-term potential.