Government offices and the presidential palace were set afire in the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan on a fourth day of riots over rising energy prices. Since China’s crypto bans, Kazakhstan has become a popular destination for relocation and expansion of crypto companies, including energy-intensive crypto mining companies. Global media have reported that President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has accepted the resignation of the government.
- The protests began Sunday when the cost of fuel doubled as the government lifted price caps for liquefied petroleum gas. Kazakhstan is an oil-rich nation that is an exporter of oil and gas. It also has a severe income disparity.
- The main telecommunications company Kazakhtelecom shut off internet access nationwide on Wednesday afternoon.
- On Tuesday, mining rig company Canaan announced it had deployed 10,000 machines in the country as part of its global expansion.
- Mining companies fleeing China arrived in the spring and summer, but began experiencing power shortages in the fall, especially in the south. Crypto mining company Xive shut down operations in Kazakhstan in November, claiming, “South is completely lost for miners.” In a tweet, the Xive CEO said, “Country risk played out.”