Argentina’s tax collection agency (AFIP) has concluded its first-ever operations against illegal and “clandestine” crypto mining farms operating within the country, the agency announced last week.

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Fast facts

  • The AFIP conducted four raids on crypto farms that were under the guise of other commercial purposes, beginning in the province of San Juan on Tuesday and ending in Buenos Aires Friday.
  • Two farms were found in the city of Cordoba, given away by their high levels of energy usage, according to local news outlet iProUP. The Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimates that one bitcoin transaction takes about 1,450 kWh to complete, equivalent to almost 48 days of power for the average US household. 
  • To obscure the energy usage from the machines, a group of illicit miners in San Juan hid their machines inside a giant fruit refrigerator at an agricultural facility. 
  • The South American country has recently attracted crypto miners such as Bitfarms, a Nasdaq-listed mining company that is already building a 50-megawatt farm in the country, with another planned for next year, according to an August press release. 
  • Argentina eliminated subsidies for power provided to cryptocurrency mining companies in February, with Cammesa, the country’s wholesale electric market management company, also raising electricity fees for crypto farms. 
  • Many miners have chosen to operate illegally to avoid hefty taxes and take advantage of subsidies. According to iProUP, at least one of the farms had an undeclared income of over US$200,000 in the last seven months.

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