The president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, called for a higher tax on crypto mining just weeks after a new levy on the industry came into effect, local news sites reported on Tuesday.
- The current rate of 1 Kazakh tenge (US$0.0023) per kilowatt of power is negligible, Tokayev said, instructing the government to increase the tax as soon as possible and to come up with a full proposal for crypto mining regulation by April 1. The tax came into effect on Jan. 1.
- The new rate could be as high as 5 tenge per kWh, and miners might have to pay import taxes on their equipment, First Vice Minister of Finance Marat Sultangaziyev said, according to local media reports.
- Crypto mining doesn't create many jobs and consumes high amounts of electricity, and some miners pay less for electricity than the public, the president said in a government meeting today. They also aren't taxed on imported equipment.
- Crypto miners flocked to Kazakhstan after China cracked down on the industry in 2021. The central Asian country once had an electricity surplus, but since the influx the national grid has been struggling to meet demand.
- The national grid operator cut off power to all mines on Jan. 21. The measure was supposed to last until the end of January, but miners told CoinDesk the electricity has yet to be restored.
- The government is also trying to stamp out "gray mining," meaning operations that are not properly registered and licensed.
- The president tasked the Financial Monitoring Agency to identify all mining firms and check their tax and customs records by March 19.
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