Illegal crypto mining appears to be booming in the South Caucasus region, with Abkhazia reportedly having crypto rigs flooding the border – despite mining being officially illegal under Abkhaz law.
The largely unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia in the South Caucasus is recognized by most countries as an autonomous republic of Georgia. Per Nuzhnaya Gazeta, a whopping 83 shipments of crypto mining hardware worth $ 589,290, have passed the Abkhazia-Russia border post near Psou in the past six months.
Although laws introduced in 2018 prohibit crypto mining on Abkhaz soil, importing crypto mining platforms is allowed. However, importers must pay customs duties of 1% of the value of the installations and 10% VAT when importing mining installations. Customs said they have collected more than $ 84,100 in taxes on imports of mining facilities so far this year.
The same media channel called the situation “absurd” – saying authorities often have to start hunting illegal crypto miners immediately after the installations are brought into the country.
The outlet quotes the head of the country’s customs, Guram Inapshba, stating that immediately after approving their imports, they look for platforms and their users.
The customs chief stated that “it would be quite easy to solve the problem”. By banning the import of crypto mining equipment, authorities were able to ensure that ‘none [mining rig] Abkhazia would be brought in. ‘
Per state-owned energy supplier Chernomorenergoelectricity rates in Abkhazia are about $ 0.7 per kWh for households, while industry pays a rate of $ 1.30 per kWh.
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