The government of the Republic of Abkhazia has cut power to some cryptocurrency mining farms due to electricity concerns, state electric utility Chernomorenergo RUE announced in a Facebook post on Dec. 31.
Per the announcement, Chernomorenergo cut power to 15 facilities with a total capacity of 8,950 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is purportedly equivalent to the electricity consumption of 1,800 households. The cuts were made as part of a series of “temporary measures to limit the consumption of electricity by certain categories of subscribers." Chernomorenergo also notes that, following the cuts, owners of the mining farms showed understanding and collaboration.
Regulators worldwide have expressed concerns over the cryptocurrency mining industry’s electricity consumption. In November, Norway ended electricity subsidies for Bitcoin (BTC) mining facilities. Parliamentary Representative for the Socialist Left Party (SV) Lars Haltbrekken stated that "Norway cannot continue to provide huge tax incentives for the most dirty form of cryptocurrency output [...] [Bitcoin] requires a lot of energy and generates large greenhouse gas emissions globally."
In the United States, the Chelan County Public Utility District of the state of Washington proposed a new electricity pricing structure for cryptocurrency miners meant to pass down the cost of increased electricity demand. The district “is addressing (the rate structure) in a way that captures the cost and protects the investment for the customers that are already here and invested greatly in our system.”
As Cointelegraph reported in October, Bitcoin miner revenues for the first six months of 2018 had surpassed results in 2017, but miners themselves saw little profit, according to weekly crypto outlet Diar. By that time, the rewards and fees for BTC miners had already reached $4.7 billion in the first three quarters of 2018, around $1.4 billion more than the profits in all of 2017. Miners reportedly still gained 54,000 Bitcoin monthly.
In December, Chinese miners reportedly became the biggest short sellers of Bitcoin both locally and internationally, following an increased number of hedging operations in the current bear market. The severe cryptocurrency market decline reportedly caused a new generation miners to start hedging their coins to avoid market risks.