The forgotten country of Kazakhstan has found a way to make itself noticed, offer tax free bitcoin mining.
Cheap energy at 4 cent kilowatt per hour makes the tax bonus even more appealing. As does its proximity to China.
All of which puts this country fourth in regards to bitcoin mining, with China dominating at 60%, America way behind at 7.24%, while Russia is at 6.9%.
Kazakhstan has grown very quickly to 6.17%, followed by Malaysia at 4.33% and Iran at 3.82%.
The digital mining industry in Kazakhstan is small however at $200 million from 14 mining farms, but the government there is pushing to get it to $700 million and then $1.2 billion.
That would be not far off from 1% of its GDP at $180 billion, the vast majority of it coming from oil and gas.
Its dependence on these limited, but vast, resources has necessitated a lookout for diversification opportunities with digital looking like a safe bet for this democratic country.
They laid out a fiber optic cable to Azerbaijan for example to facilitate the datacenters industry with the government being fairly rich here, but the people aren’t that rich.
It’s growing however at a consistent 4% a year, down from 10% in the naughties, but inflation is high at 7%, and interest rates are even higher at 9%.
Interest rates were at 60% in the late 90s however, with the country clearly stabilizing in the past two decades, and now potentially ready to debute.
It’s strategic position next to Russia and China makes it a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasian Economic Union, and TURKSOY.
Turks because this is a muslim country and many of them are Turkish ethnically, while SCO suggests they have excellent relations with China.
The people however seem to be somewhat fond of Europe, while America, as everywhere, is a bit controversial here too.
Where bitcoin mining is concerned it is probably more that miners found Kazakhstan than the other way around.
In 2018, the Central Bank there wanted to outright ban cryptos, but as everywhere except China, the elected prevailed.
That means to today China remains the only country in the world where it appears the central bank is above their own government, something that for long has made miners in China quite nervous.
They were looking to diversify therefore with some going to America, some to Inner Mongolia, and some clearly have gone to Kazakhstan.
The Caspian Policy Centre says Enegix is to open one of the world’s largest mining centers with a 180 MW capacity in Ekibastuz in Kazakhstan.
That’s one of many likewise operations they hoping to attract, with Kazakhstan so becoming the latest country to enter the crypto map.