No more internet, no more BTC – Nothing is going well for Bitcoin (BTC) miners, at least in Kazakhstan. While the year 2022 was shaping up to be auspicious, with computing power (hashrate) on the BTC network which was returning to good shape, now Kazakhstan is experiencing a national Internet cutoff, compromising in particular crypto-mining activities.
Has Kazakhstan, in chaos, decided to shut down the Internet?
Since the China made the mistake of banish minors of Bitcoin (then any crypto in Proof of Work), many countries have benefited of this forced exile, the United States in the lead. But among the other winners, the Kazakhstan figure prominently, with a little more 18% of the whole chopping power present on the BTC network.
Unfortunately, as reported in particular by a item of the media 20 minutes, Kazakhstan is currently experiencing very serious disorders with massive popular demonstrations which are severely repressed. It is in this very stormy context that a Internet “blackout” affected the whole country.
More than a failure, it could be a voluntary shutdown of the Internet, provoked by power, if we are to believe the consequences evoked by the NGO Netblocks (a global observatory for internet health):
“Confirmed: Kazakhstan is currently experiencing a nationwide internet blackout after a day of mobile internet disruptions and partial restrictions. The incident risks significantly limiting coverage of escalating anti-government protests. “
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Bitcoin miners deprived of their work tool
Although a few satellites were launched by Blockstream to provide coverage from the Bitcoin network space, almost all exchanges on the BTC blockchain are done through the Internet earthly (by cables or surface waves).
The lack of web access in Kazakhstan therefore had an obvious immediate consequence for the country’s BTC miners: it is impossible to participate the operation of the blockchain network.
Larry Cermak of The Block believes in a post on Twitter that the fall of the hashrate global on Bitcoin was around -12% because of this Internet blackout in Kazakhstan:
“The Internet has been interrupted in Kazakhstan (…) where approximately 18% of Bitcoin’s hashrate is located. It looks like the hashrate impact has so far been down 12% just in the last few hours since the internet was shut down. “
Of course, while significant, the magnitude of this drop in hash power is by no means comparable to that which took place after the Chinese ban on cryptocurrency mining – with a hashrate divided not far by a factor of 3. While we of course hope that things will calm down in Kazakhstan, Bitcoin will survive whatever the final outcome.
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