Kosovo's Economy Minister tweeted that the seizure of cryptocurrency miners would save "tens of thousands of Euros a month", providing "energy for hundreds of Kosovo families".
Police in Kosovo have stepped up their efforts to crack down on crypto miners in the country, seizing more than 300 mining machines on January 8 alone.
A notice issued by the Kosovo police on January 08 revealed that they have confiscated 1 Bitcoin miners in the municipality of Leposavic, and another 272 near Prishtina.
Meanwhile, police also stopped a vehicle carrying six cryptocurrency miners with 6 graphics cards (GPUs) near Druar, in Vushtrri.
Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli wrote on Twitter her support for the Kosovo police: “Tens of thousands of Euros per month in tax savings = energy for hundreds of Kosovo families in times of crisis.”
Kosovo's energy squeeze
In December, Kosovo declared a 12-day state of emergency amid an energy crisis and power shortages.
Since then, the Minister of Economy issued a comprehensive ban on cryptocurrency mining on January 5. Kosovo now imports more than 1% of its energy.
Bitcoin mining uses 101 TWh per year or more of the energy of the entire Philippines.
Even so, miners are increasingly moving towards renewable energy sources, especially in the United States, which has become the new hub for mining operations.
Cryptocurrency mining has been on the rise in Kosovo in recent times. Until recently, electricity was provided free of charge to people living in Serb-majority Northern cities since the end of the Kosovo War in 1999.
At the end of November 11, the grid operator KOSTT announced that it would not provide free electricity to 2021 centrally-run cities in the North of the country: Mitrovica North, Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic.
Kosovo was part of Serbia until 2008 when the country declared its independence and has maintained subsidies ever since.
In recent months, a number of other countries have also expressed concern about crypto mining-related blackouts, including Iran and Kazakhstan.