Kazakhstan, which boasts the world’s second-largest mining hash rate (BTC), is experiencing major internet outages amid local anti-government protests.
The NetBlocks network data provider reported on Wednesday Kazakhstan was “in the midst of a nationwide internet blackout after a day of mobile internet outages and partial restrictions”. According to the data, normalized network connectivity in Kazakhstan fell to 2% on Wednesday.
“The incident is likely to severely limit coverage of the escalating anti-government protests,” NetBlocks noted.
Kazakhtelecom, Kazakhstan’s largest telecommunications company, has shut down the Internet across the country, according to some reports. Cellular networks have also been deactivated in some cities, such as Almaty.
The ongoing internet shutdown in Kazakhstan comes after the Kazakh government resigned amid protests sparked by a sharp rise in fuel prices.. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev removed the Kazakh government early Wednesday and declared a state of emergency in Almaty and the surrounding province.
According to some analysts, the protests are also a response to the lack of democracy in the country. “Young, Internet-savvy Kazakhs, especially in Almaty, probably want similar freedoms to Ukrainians, Georgians, Moldovans, Kyrgyz, and Armenians, who have also vented their frustrations over the years with authoritarian regimes. “, Tim Ash, emerging markets strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said.
The protests have taken a violent turn, with reports of sustained gunfire between protesters and state security organs, including the police and the national guard.
– Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) January 5, 2022
Latest Internet Disruptions Could Affect Bitcoin’s Global Hash Rate. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Kazakhstan accounted for 18% of the total global distribution of the BTC mining hash rate as of October 2021, second only to the United States.
Many Chinese Bitcoin mining companies and miners increasingly relocated their services to Kazakhstan after the Chinese government announced a renewed ban on the cryptocurrency industry in September 2021.