Spanish MP Asks Government to Take in Fleeing Kazakhstan Bitcoin Miners
A pro-crypto Spanish MP has told the government it should offer bitcoin (BTC) and altcoin miners in Kazakhstan suffering from recent blackouts and bloody social unrest a new home in Spain – and that her nation should itself seek to become a hub of crypto mining and innovation.
The proposal came from María Muñoz Vidal, MP for Valencia and a member of the liberal Ciudadanos Party. Both Muñoz and her party have been active in the world of crypto policy, and, per Europapress, last year petitioned the government to adopt a “national strategy on cryptocurrencies” that would create “a clear and accessible information framework and security standards.”
In a copy of the new proposal shared on Twitter, she explained that the “impact of the decision” to enact an internet blackout in Kazakhstan last week “was felt all over the world,” when the global bitcoin hashrate was hit by as much as 12%.
The MP asked for a “written answer” to the following questions:
- What information does the government have on the impact that the internet blackout in Kazakhstan has had on cryptocurrency mining in Spain?
- Does the government plan to take any measures to attract investment and cryptoasset [miners] that could flee Kazakhstan?
- What data does the government have on the growth of crypto mining in Spain and on the evolution of the energy efficiency of these processes in [Spain]?
Furthermore, Muñoz urged the government to “take advantage of the growth potential that cryptoassets have in Spain.” She spoke of the opportunity “to position Spain as one of the poles of attraction for investments in cryptocurrencies in the European Union and throughout the world.”
In summer last year Muñoz’s party asked the government to create educational resources to inform people about “the nature of” crypto, in addition to “a coordinated regulation of cryptocurrencies” both domestically and “in close collaboration with the European Commission” and European central banks.
The MP has also warned in the past of the dangers of “over-regulating” the crypto sector,” claiming that this “could jeopardize the development of the industry and the investments” put down by crypto users.
In her latest proposal, Muñoz criticized the government for “refusing to consider” last year’s proposal.
But it seems not everyone in the world of Spanish politics welcomed Muñoz’s mining ideas. The MEP Ernest Urtasun of the Greens–European Free Alliance, wrote of the plan, also on Twitter:
“What kind of bad-taste joke is this? Bitcoin mining is an environmental aberration. And cryptocurrencies are an unstable and unregulated financial activity.”
Another Twitter-based poster replied, with no shortage of irony:
“In Kazakhstan, there are protests, including deaths, caused by a rise in electricity consumption. Bitcoin is partly to blame for the rise (18% of the world’s bitcoin [hashrate is located in the country]). The solution? Mine bitcoin in Spain. Well done, you!”
But away from the derision, others suggested more practical wrinkles to the proposal, with one Twitter user remarking:
“Miners are looking for cheap energy. They won’t find that here [in Spain]. Besides, do you think that with the tax system here they are going to move to Spain? Cryptocurrency investors try to run away from the system, not settle down in it.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Kazakhstan authorities said they had stabilized the situation across the country, following what was called "the deadliest outbreak of violence in 30 years of independence." "The situation has been stabilised in all regions of the country," the presidential office said, adding that law enforcement agencies had seized back control of administrative buildings, Reuters reported.
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