Bitcoin: network power plummets after internet outage in Kazakhstan

The power of the Bitcoin network has suddenly collapsed. A general Internet blackout, accompanied by a blackout, shut down most mining farms located in Kazakhstan. In the face of the riots, the authorities cut off Internet access throughout the country.

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A few days after the New Year, the power of the Bitcoin network (hashrate) reached a new record. On January 2, 2022, the average power of the mining network rose above 200 exahashes per second (Eh / s). With this power rising sharply, BTC mining has become more profitable.

To produce bitcoins, it is indeed necessary to perform complex mathematical calculations using dedicated machines, the famous Asics. The hashrate corresponds to the overall power supplied by the mining machines which are responsible for securing the network and the transactions.

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The crisis in Kazakhstan weighs down the Bitcoin network

A few days after this record, the Bitcoin network hashrate completely collapsed. In the space of a few hours, grid power contracted by 12%. This meteoric decline is due to a major Internet blackout in Kazakhstan.

According to information from NetBlocks, the organization that monitors cybersecurity and Internet governance, an Internet failure affected the whole of Kazakhstan on Wednesday January 4, 2022. The network failure was followed by a major blackout. The organization suggests that the Internet network would have been deliberately cut off at the request of the authorities in order to reduce the means of communication of demonstrators. Forced by the authorities, Kazakhtelecom, the nation’s main ISP, was reportedly forced to block citizens’ Internet access.

Kazakhstan is currently the scene of violent riots. Demonstrators are protesting against rising fuel prices, especially liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices. Faced with the scale of the riots, Kassym-Jomart Tokaïev, president of the country, declared a state of emergency. Journalists and media correspondents abroad are currently unreachable.

As a reminder, mining farms in Kazakhstan represent up to 18% of the total power of the Bitcoin network. It would be the third country with the highest concentration of hashrate, behind the United States. After being excluded from China, many minors relocated to Kazakh territory, where the price of electricity is reduced. Faced with the influx of cryptocurrency miners, the country has reportedly recorded high energy consumption. This additional pressure has already caused blackouts in early December 2021.

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