Mass Kazakhstan protests against energy prices jeopardize the world's Bitcoin mining hashrate
As if Kazakhstan's rationing of electricity and raising of energy prices for Bitcoin mining operations wasn't enough, the country with the world's second-largest hashrate is now facing mass protests on unprecedented scale. Nominaly caused by the raising of energy prices, the protests have swept the country to such an extent that Kazakhstan's President disbanded the government and there is now an information blackout due to the countrywide unplug of Internet connectivity. The impact of the events has reached Kazakhstan's top oil field, Tengiz, but the output has reportedly remained steady despite contract workers massing for protests there.
Thanks to its proximity to China and comparatively low energy prices, Kazakhstan saw an influx of Bitcoin mining companies caused by China's crypto ban exodus. Some high-profile Bitcoin mining operations began leaving Kazakhstan in the recent weeks as the country introduced energy rationing, higher prices, and additional registration requirements. The bulk of the mining community that propelled Kazakhstan to the world's number two Bitcoin hashrate provider spot, however, remains, and it's not clear what will be happening with their operations.
The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, announced that he is now the head of the powerful Security Council instead of the influential ex-President Nursultan Nazarbayev whose statue protesters already tried to bring down today, so the situation remains in flux, and the threat to the global Bitcoin hashrate is still elevated. Unfortunately, there aren't many news updates coming out of Kazakhstan at the moment, as the authorities have introduced an information blackout by shutting down the country's Internet to prevent opposition forces from organizing.