Abkhazia extends internet restrictions for cryptocurrency miners – mining bitcoin news

The government of Abkhazia has extended an order banning access to websites used by cryptocurrency miners. The measure is part of a broader ban on activities related to the mining of digital coins that also restricts the use of electricity and imports of mining equipment in the breakaway Georgian republic.

Abkhazian authorities confirm ban on websites needed by local minors

Abkhazia’s telecommunications and media watchdog has extended internet restrictions affecting crypto mining operations in the country. According to an order issued by the State Committee for Communications, Mass Media and Digital Development, access to certain websites used by minors remains prohibited until March 31, 2022. The initial ban adopted in late December expired on June 1 of this year.

According to the document released on Oct. 6, ISPs are required to implement the necessary technical measures to block websites that allow minors to carry out their coin-minting activities, Forklog reported citing the order. However, the government agency did not list the domain names of sites that should be restricted.

Speaking to Sputnik Radio, committee chairman Beslan Khalvash noted that the new order he signed also applies to VPN services. He explained that the regulator used to take action against domains and IP addresses, but some users have switched to VPNs. These platforms will also be targeted in the future. The official declined to comment in detail on how the ban was circumvented, but insisted:

In the fight against mining, we reach a completely different level.

Khalvash pointed out that ISPs in Abkhazia are now technically prepared to restrict access to websites and VPNs. Companies have already acquired the necessary equipment and software to do this. The head of the watchdog assured: “I think that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow we will start to shut down these VPNs. “

Abkhazia, a partially recognized de facto state in the South Caucasus, introduced a temporary ban on mining activities in 2018 and extended it this spring until March 31, 2022. But Sukhumi officials recently acknowledged their efforts. to impose the restrictions throughout the region. largely failed.

Despite the seizure of 6,000 mining devices, authorities have failed to disrupt crypto mining, which has proven to be an alternative source of income for many in the country. In September, the Sukhumi government admitted that 30,000 mining rigs remained in the hands of miners, blamed for the exacerbation of electricity shortages in the region.

Abkhazia extends internet restrictions for cryptocurrency miners

Nonetheless, Beslan Khalvash insisted that internet restrictions imposed last year have saved Abkhazia a lot of electric power. “The decision was justified. I’m sure extending this command and shutting down VPNs will also have some effect… I think this command will also be an opportunity to save electricity, ”he said.

This, of course, is not so sure at all. Khalvash himself admitted that there are large cryptocurrency farms in Abkhazia that can afford to avoid using the services of local internet providers. “They can take the Internet from the satellite,” he conceded.

Earlier this year, reports revealed that Abkhazia was in talks with its main funder, Russia, to resolve the problem of its electricity deficit. Economy Minister Christina Ozgan said authorities plan to organize additional supplies from the Russian Federation. Moreover, she added that they even want to set up facilities where miners can set up their equipment and legally connect to the network.

Do you think the authorities in Abkhazia will be able to curb cryptocurrency mining? Tell us in the comments section below.

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