Laos pulls the plug on crypto mining electricity supply after drought
The drought that the country experienced in the first half of 2023 resulted in higher electricity demand and lower power generation capabilities from hydropower plants.
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Laos state-owned electricity distribution company Électricité du Laos (EDL) has announced that it will suspend electricity supply to crypto mining operations in the country, citing various reasons such as the struggle to generate enough power amid drought conditions.
According to the announcement, Laos experienced drought in the first half of 2023. The extreme heat resulted in higher demand for electricity and caused hydropower plants to struggle to generate enough power.
Apart from this, the EDL said that hydropower plants generate 95% of the country’s power, and it aims to supply electricity locally and export large volumes to Thailand in 2024. The country’s export capacity will also be affected as conditions become more severe.
In an interview with a local media outlet, the Laotian Times, an EDL employee said that another reason for the suspension of supply for crypto mining projects is their inability to “pay their outstanding balances.”
On Sept. 11, 2021, the Laotian government approved the public-private pilot to explore crypto mining and trading. The move aims to capitalize on China’s crackdown on mining, resulting in industrial-scale miners trying to find a different venue for operations. At the time, six companies had been permitted to conduct mining operations in Laos as part of the program.
Related: Laos government reportedly prioritizes blockchain technology for digital transformation
In other news, the Sultanate of Oman, a country located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, has launched a $370 million crypto-mining center. On Aug. 22, the center was opened in a special economic zone called the Salalah Free Zone. A local company, Exahertz, will run the center with the Dubai-based blockchain firm Moonwalk Systems.
Meanwhile, a Chinese official was sentenced to life in prison for corruption in operating a Bitcoin mining enterprise. On Aug. 22, Xiao Yi, a Chinese politician, was given a prison sentence for abuse of power and corruption. According to prosecutors, Yi covered up the mining operations by instructing departments to fabricate reports and adjust the electricity consumption.
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