Back to the list

Kosovo Seizes Crypto Mining Devices Citing Unpaid Electricity Bills

source-logo  coingabbar.com 17 April 2023 15:19, UTC

According to a report from the Turkish Anadolu Agency, the Kosovo government has launched a crackdown on cryptocurrency mining in a northern municipality where Serbs make up the majority of the population.

The authorities have conducted raids and seized dozens of crypto mining devices, citing failure to pay electricity bills as a contributing factor to the illegal activity. The move has sparked accusations and tensions between authorities in Pristina and Belgrade, as Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move not recognized by the Serbian government.

Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli has reported that 174 crypto-mining devices have been seized by the police in Zubin Potok, with failure to pay electricity bills being cited as a reason for the illegal activity. Rizvanolli took to social media to announce the operation. The predominantly Serb northern part of Kosovo has not paid for electric power for over 20 years, and Serbia, which does not recognize Kosovo's independence, is home to the majority of the population. In contrast, the rest of the region is largely inhabited by ethnic Albanians.

Belgrade has accused the Kosovo government of attempting to provoke tensions among Serbs in the breakaway region, in response to the recent crackdown on crypto mining. The Office for Kosovo and Metohija, which is affiliated with Serbia's government, has criticized the police operation and characterized it as an extension of the mistreatment of the Serbian population.

The office has highlighted that the raids were conducted on Good Friday, a significant holy day for Orthodox Christians. Meanwhile, Blerim Vela, the cabinet chief of Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani, has claimed that Serbia is portraying the crackdown as an attack on local Serbs while supporting criminal activity in northern Kosovo.

In January 2022, Pristina banned the extraction of cryptocurrencies across Kosovo, citing the adverse impacts of the global energy crisis. Last year, hundreds of crypto-mining machines were seized, and the ban was reinstated in August. It has been reported that the outstanding electricity and water bills in four Serb municipalities in the northern region of Kosovo exceed €300 million (nearly $330 million).

Also, Read - Baby Doge Coin Surges by 20% in a Single Day: Is it Worth Investing in?