Abkhazia’s crypto mining-related mayhem is hitting melting point – literally – with a power substation overheating and finally burning with legit and illegal miners alike refusing to slow down their efforts.
As previously reported, anarchic scenes have become commonplace in the de facto South Caucasus state, with the parliamentary speaker recounting the tale of a group of villagers who took the law into their own hands, turfing out miners. Blackouts and brownouts have brought entire communities to a standstill amid falling temperatures.
The government has gone to and fro with crypto mining ban policies, but the drain on the grid has now become too hot to handle – with Sputnik Abkhazia reporting that experts from “all branches” of energy provider Chernomorenergo were called out to work throughout the weekend, day and night, to control and then repair damage caused by a fire at the Sukhum-1 substation.
The incident occurred at 5:20 am local time on Saturday, December 5, with distribution lines, power cells, and more burned to a cinder.
Emergency power workers were called in to conduct repairs, with more of the nation plunged into darkness.
Power experts told the same media outlet that the chief culprits for the power drain were less likely large-scale crypto mining farms – and instead probably smaller-scale operators running “five to ten” mining rigs apiece from their homes.
This group is much harder to trace than unlicensed farm operators running hundreds of rigs at a time.
Thousands of people have been left without power for prolonged periods of the day as politicians continue to wrangle in search of a solution.
In a recent Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report, Rimma Khashba, a 67-year-old resident of Sukhumi, was quoted as saying that life had been “easier” in the hard times “after the war” of 1992-1993, explaining,
“We have to get used to the schedule that they dictate to us. It’s very difficult because it’s constant: The lights are on, the water’s off; the water’s on, the lights are off. Or the internet goes off. You can’t even turn on the washing machine to do the wash.”