Fifth of Bitcoin network shut down over Kazakhstan crisis

A FIFTH of the global Bitcoin mining network has been taken down due to the current unrest in Kazakhstan, reports suggest.

Kazakstan is one of the largest Bitcoin mining nations in the world along with the US.

The Central Asian country has had its internet access cut off, which means the amount of computers that were mining Bitcoin has dramatically reduced.

Computers are needed for complex mathematical calculations to put a new Bitcoin into circulation online.

This process is also known as mining and it requires a large amount of energy.

Bitcoin mining is surrounded by controversy because of the sheer amount of fossil fuels needed to mine the cryptocurrency and the negative impact this has on the environment.

China was once the largest Bitcoin mining nation until a state crackdown on the practice saw miners flee to Kazakhstan, where fossil fuel energy is abundant and cheap.

Unfortunately for these miners, Kazakstan is currently going through a period of civil unrest.

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The unrest is thought to have been brought on by a surge in fuel prices.

Protestors have been involved in violent clashes with security forces in the country.

The unrest has been ongoing since January 2.

Kazakstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reportedly enforced a block on internet access on January 6.

No internet means no Bitcoin mining.

According to the crypto experts at BTC.com, the computer power dedicated to mining Bitcoin fell by 14% between Tuesday and Thursday.

Didar Bekbau, a Bitcoin miner in Kazakhstan, tweeted: “No internet, so no mining. Internet is blocked in Kazakhstan. Mobile operators, home internet, everything.”

Read our Cryptocurrency price news blog for the latest updates on the market.

Reports suggest some people can access the internet sporadically but this wouldn't be enough for mining to resume properly.

There's enough Bitcoin miners outside of Kazakhstan to keep the currency going.

The crypto coin saw its value hit a low of $42,579.93 (£31,476.15) yesterday.

The crypto market was a sea of red yesterday morning with lots of other popular coins crashing.

Ethereum is the second biggest cryptocurrency and that was down 12%.

The dip came after the Federal Reserve revealed it would be cutting back support for the US economy, which is bad news for riskier assets like crypto.

Bitcoin's value has slipped even lower today with a value of $41,993.90 (£30,919.06) at the time of writing.

In other news, Donald Trump looks set to launch his Truth Social app next month.

Bitcoin has been predicted to crash in 2022 and the value of the cryptocurrency fell dramatically this week.

And, Cadillac has revealed a futuristic electric car concept with a loveseat design inside.

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