Kazakhstan, the world’s largest Bitcoin mining nation, shuts down the internet in the face of protests

Kazakhstan’s government shut down the internet after the resignation of the Cabinet amid widespread anti-government rallies.

Kazakhstan, which has the world’s second-largest (BTC) mining hash rate, is facing widespread internet outages due to anti-government rallies.

According to network data provider NetBlocks, Kazakhstan was “in the middle of a nationwide internet blackout” on Wednesday, after a day of mobile internet problems and partial limitations. According to statistics, Kazakhstan’s normalised network connectivity plummeted to 2% on Jan. 5.

“The event is almost certain to significantly restrict coverage of rising anti-government rallies,” NetBlocks said. According to some reports, Kazakhtelecom, the country’s major telecom firm, has shut down the internet throughout the country. Cellular networks have also been disrupted in various cities in Almaty, according to reports.

Kazakhstan’s prolonged internet outage comes after the country’s government resigned in the face of demonstrations caused by a dramatic increase in gasoline prices. On Wednesday morning, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dismissed Kazakhstan’s cabinet and imposed a state of emergency in Almaty and the neighbouring region.

According to some commentators, the demonstrations are also a reaction to the country’s lack of democracy. “Young, internet-savvy Kazakhs, particularly in Almaty, are likely to desire the same freedoms as Ukrainians, Georgians, Moldovans, Kyrgyz, and Armenians, all of whom have expressed their frustrations with authoritarian regimes over the years,” Tim Ash, emerging market strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said.

The demonstrations have devolved into violence, with allegations of persistent firing between demonstrators and state security organs like as the police and national guard.

Recent internet failures may have an impact on the worldwide Bitcoin hash rate. Kazakhstan, as previously revealed by Cointelegraph, contributed for 18 percent of the entire worldwide Bitcoin mining hash rate distribution in October 2021, second only to the United States.

Numerous Chinese Bitcoin mining businesses and miners were gradually transferring their operations to Kazakhstan after the Chinese government’s announcement in September 2021 of a fresh ban on the crypto sector.

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