Despite the ban, Illegal Crypto Mining is Growing in the Republic of Abkhazia


July 25, 2020 1:00 pm

Illegal Crypto Mining
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Since 2018, despite crypto-related activities being illegal, the Republic of Abkhazia still allows the import of crypto mining rigs. 

A surge has been observed in crypto mining activities, customs has proclaimed that mining hardware worth over $589,000 have crossed the border over the past six months.

Per Nuzhnaya Gazeta, importing crypto mining rigs remains legally permissible. Importers are required to pay taxes equal to 1% of the hardware’s worth and a VAT of 10%.

The largely unrecognized state in the South Caucasus, which is considered by several countries as an “autonomous republic” of Georgia, states that since the start of 2020, they’ve earned over $84,100 in taxes just from crypto mining rig imports. 

Illegal Crypto Miners

The head of the national customs committee, Guram Inapshba, affirmed that they support the imports to “hunt” for illegal crypto miners. Inapshba clarifies that no foreigners are involved inside the country in terms of operating or financing crypto mining activities, although he states that there are “several dozen citizens” of Abkhazia involved in the imports.

The government banned all crypto mining activities in December 2018, indicating a lack of capacity in the country’s electrical system. They also perceived the need to provide “priority power supply to the population of Abkhazia.”

The Bolivarian National Guard of Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, recently seized 315 Bitcoin (BTC) mining machines manufactured by Bitmain. The owners of the mining rigs were told that they did not possess the required permits to own and operate the machines. Per the current legislation, Venezuelan citizens who are interested in conducting crypto-related mining activities must get suitable permits from a government office called the National Superintendence of Cryptoactives and the owners who fail to obtain these permits chance being fined, and having their equipment seized.

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