Geopolitics of cryptocurrency mining in Kazakhstan, by Hugo Estecahandy

Central Asian Survey
8 avril 2024

Hugo Estecahandy, a PhD candidate at the IFG and GEODE, has just published a new article analyzing the geopolitics of cryptocurrency mining in Kazakhstan.

This article published in Central Asian Survey examines the geopolitical implications of cryptocurrency mining in Kazakhstan, a practice experiencing notable expansion and allegedly contributing to the energy crisis in the region. It explores the intricate relationship between digital mining activities and the broader socio-economic landscape of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

It first examines the geography of digital mining in Kazakhstan, tracing its relocation from neighboring China following its ban by Beijing, and the spatial logic of its deployment within the country influenced by a dual territorial fracture, both climatic and energetic. The article also explores the political dimension of the activity’s development, particularly the networks of politico-economic actors that have facilitated the emergence of an informal cryptocurrency mining sector, which has strained an already antiquated electrical grid. Lastly, Hugo investigates the new regulations governing the industry and their limitations, while discussing potential future directions for the activity within the country.


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