The global computing power of the bitcoin network dropped dramatically as the suspension of the internet in Kazakhstan during the country’s deadly revolt affected the country’s fast-growing cryptocurrency mining industry.
Kazakhstan last year became the world’s second largest bitcoin mining center after the United States, according to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, after the main center, China, cracked down on cryptocurrency mining activity.
Russia sent paratroopers to Kazakhstan on Thursday to help quell the national revolt affecting the former Soviet state. Police said dozens of protesters were killed in the main city, Almaty, while state television claimed 13 members of the security forces were killed.
On Wednesday, the internet was shut down across the country, in what the Netblocks monitoring site called “a nationwide internet blackout.” The move is likely to have prevented Kazakh miners from accessing the Bitcoin network.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are created or “mined” by high-powered computers, usually in data centers around the world, competing to solve complex mathematical puzzles in an energy-intensive process.
In August of last year, the most recent data available, Kazakhstan accounted for 18% of the global hashrate, the term used in cryptocurrency jargon to refer to the amount of computing power used by computers connected to the network of bitcoins.
Bitcoin fell below $ 43,000 on Thursday, hitting multi-month lows, at a time when investor appetite for riskier assets waned after Federal Reserve minutes indicated its policymakers lean. for more aggressive policy action.