Cryptocurrency News

Laos halts electricity supply to crypto mining projects amid drought


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.

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Official announcement of suspension of electricity supply to crypto mining projects. Source: Électricité du Laos

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. As conditions become more severe, the country’s export capacity will also be affected.

In an interview with local media outlet 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 given permission 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. Exahertz, a local company, will be running 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.

Magazine: China’s 180M digital yuan airdrop, Devastation in Turkey, Laos’ CBDC: Asia Express