Georgia Town Binds Residents in Holy Oath Against Bitcoin Mining as Power Crisis Plagues Region

After COVID-19 impacted the tourism-driven economy of Svaneti town, many people began crypto mining to keep funds coming in.

Georgia Town Binds Residents in Holy Oath Against Bitcoin Mining as Power Crisis Plagues Region

Photo Credit: Bloomberg

Bitcoin mining consumes around 121.36TWh of energy a year

Highlights
  • Miners flocked to Svaneti due to low electricity rates there
  • Svaneti is the mountainous north-western part of Georgia
  • Mining-related power supply issues have affected other regions

With Bitcoin continuing its reign as the king of cryptocurrencies since 2009, more people are getting into its mining process. In a bid to reduce the electricity–consuming process of Bitcoin mining, a town in Georgia ended up taking a rather drastic decision. Residents of Georgia's Svaneti town have reportedly been made to pledge a holy oath against indulging in crypto mining. The decision comes in the backdrop of power crisis impacting the region.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the tourism-driven economy of the Svaneti region. As a way to keep churning finances, hundreds of residents turned to crypto mining that severely disrupted the electrical supply there, a report by CoinTelegraph said.

To mine a Bitcoin token, one needs to solve complex proof of work algorithms on advanced computers. Since these machines are required to be plugged in at all times, they gobble up loads of electricity, disrupting the overall power supply in a region.

In a video clip shared by news outlet Sputnik Georgia, people can be seen pledging a holy oath to St. George against mining cryptocurrencies.

The move came after protests erupted in Svaneti, calling for more electricity supply.

As per Cryptocurrency.net Svaneti has attracted miners with its low electricity rates introduced for businesses working in the mountainous region, affecting its electricity circulation.

Between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018, the mining operations for four major cryptocurrencies released up to an estimated 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a research report had claimed last year.

In recent days, several other regions have incorporated measures to manage their electricity crisis amid growing crypto mining operations.

Earlier in January, a total of 300 crypto mining machines were confiscated in Kosovo, a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe. The police conducted raids there to unearth “grey mining” from people's houses, garages, and balconies. Due to the lack of electricity, Kosovo imposed a blanket ban on crypto mining on January 5.

Iran imposed a ban on the operations of all authorised Bitcoin mining facilities in order to cut down pressure on the electricity supply.

Crypto miners were blamed for over-using electricity and causing power outages in the Irkutsk region of eastern Russia. The authorities there revealed that electricity consumption in the region grew by 108 percent last year with many residents indulging in mining from homes, balconies, and garages.

As per Cambridge researchers, Bitcoin mining consumes around 121.36TWh of energy a year.


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Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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