This week, Kazakhstan’s lower house of parliament passed new tax amendments on crypto mining. The changes to the tax code indicate that Nur-Sultan, previously known as Astana, might be pursuing taxes linked to the energy usage of crypto miners.
These amendments are also seen as an incentive for miners to switch to renewables to power their crypto mining operations. For example, the new tax rules would ensure that electricity payments are connected to the average electricity price in a given time period. For example, the added tax would stand at 1 Kazakh tenge or $0,0024 for renewable power-run crypto mines.
In contrast to this, crypto mines that are not operated by green energy would face an added tax of 10 tenges or $0,024 for 5 to 10 tenges ($0,012–0,024) per Kwh. This would rise up to 3 tenges or $0,0072 for 20–25 tenges ($0,048–0,060) per Kwh.
“The sole goal of the rule is to make digital miners pay more for the electricity they consume. We’ve discussed the issue with the business community and associations. We have decided to introduce differentiation,” said Kazakhstan’s Economic Minister Alibek Kyantyrov.
Ultimately, the changes would “level the load and de-stimulate the consumption from private sources of energy,” according to Kazakhstan’s Economic Minister Alibek Kyantyrov.
Not everyone was happy with the move, though. “You are going to differentiate payments rate for mining in different regions where electricity prices may vary. You want to oblige miners to pay more when the electricity price is low. But what if this practice would force miners to concentrate in one place? A place where the average cost of electricity is relatively low. I mean, there is a risk of a potential shortage of electricity local businesses and citizens may face,” said Elnur Beysembayev, member of Kazakhstan’s parliament.
Last year, China banned crypto, prompting Kazakhstan to emerge as the second-largest country for crypto mining, eclipsed only by the United States.
The exodus of crypto miners from China saw the former Soviet republic get almost 88,000 new mining machines.
In March, the government confiscated nearly $200 million in crypto mining equipment, raiding and shutting down more than 100 crypto mines after the Financial Monitoring Agency cracked down on illegally-operating virtual asset mines.
Kazakhstan constitutes 18% of global crypto mining operations. One estimate puts projected revenues from Kazakhstan’s crypto mining industry at $1.5 billion in the coming years.