Kosovo police have reported that more than 300 bitcoin mining machines have been seized since raids on miners began last week.
On January 6, police confirmed confiscation of 67 mining devices » suspected of being used for the production of cryptocurrencies during a raid on the city of South Mitrovica.
Following the announcement of this operation, the authorities indicated that they helped the country’s customs agency seize another 272 mining machines for mining Bitcoin in the municipality of Leposavic. One person has been arrested, according to police.
In another press release issued the same day, Kosovo police said they had 39 more confiscation mining machines north of Pristina, the country’s capital.
Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli said on Twitter that seizure saves taxpayers ” thousands of euros a month. »
Kosovo ‘s energy crisis
The Kosovo government declared a 60-day state of emergency to deal with its energy crisis in December, followed by a total ban on bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining last week.
The largest coal – fired power station in southeastern Europe was closed in December due to a technical problem, which forced Kosovo to import electricity from nearby Serbia.
However, due to its own infrastructure problems, combined with very low temperatures and heavy snow, Serbia lost a third of its electricity capacity, leading to higher prices.
Kosovo, which now has 1.8 million inhabitants, now imports more than 40% of its energy consumption, according to Reuters.
The government says the state of emergency has allowed it to cut power cuts and redistribute funds for imports. However, critics have questioned the legitimacy of the ban on bitcoin mining.
Kosovo’s legislature drafted a cryptocurrency bill in October 2021. Although it was expected to be adopted by parliament before the end of 2021, the law is still pending.