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Crypto miners blamed for Kazakhstan’s power shortages; Bitcoin on the up

Kazakhstan blames its newly settled crypto miners for power shortages as South Korea’s largest exchange is accused of listing faulty tokens for profits.

Crypto mining blamed for power shortages in Kazakhstan.

Bitcoin crosses US$50,000 mark and leads altcoins up.

Lawmaker accuses Korean crypto exchange Upbit of listing faulty tokens to earn fees.

We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast October 6th .

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Crypto mining industry under stress — our team deep diving on that today.

Welcome to The Daily Forkast, October 6th, 2021. I'm Angie Lau. Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News covering all things blockchain.

The Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan hit the headlines earlier this year when its low electricity prices proved a magnet for crypto miners, making an exit from China following the clampdown there.

But those miners are now being blamed for power supply shortages in the south of Kazakhstan, caused by the spike in demand that they created. We're going to take a look at that reaction from miners and a whole lot more coming up. Let's get you up to speed from Asia to the world.

Okay, first up — Kazakhstan's energy minister is clamping down here, proposing a number of measures to deal with power shortages and pointing the finger at crypto miners. Kazakhstan once that safe haven for miners forced to flee China, now imposing limits on electricity consumption by mining farms that are already in operation, and they're also suspending connection of new farms to the grid.

Forkast.News Timmy Shen reports on what that means for miners and the market.

In a government briefing reported by Kazakhstan today, the country's energy minister said the national grid operator KEGOC must have the right to limit or reduce power consumption by mining data centers whenever there is a shortage of electricity.

Crypto mining provider Xive told Forkast.News that one of their mining farms in the south of the country has been disconnected for three weeks already and that small and medium miners have been panicking.

However, the government has promised to settle the issue and support development of the industry, saying it will build new power plants providing around 3,000 megawatts of gas-generated electricity within the next five years. It also says it's planning to commission new renewable energy capacity.

Back in September, Kazakhstan's president warned over potential power shortages by 2030 and ordered the government to investigate the possibility of developing a nuclear power industry.

In the meantime, Xive says it is considering all options.

"We are also looking for some opportunities in off-grid mining. We are looking for gas power generators. We are waiting for wind generators, solar panels. We are looking for options right now. What we can do.

But Bekbauov is optimistic over the long term outlook for professional miners in the country, saying that when the new power plants are built, they should cover all deficit risks.

For Forkast.News, I'm Timmy Shen.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin passed the US$50,000 mark for the first time since the September sell-off Tuesday night Asia Time, the world's largest cryptocurrency, has been on a week-long tear, leading a market wide run that has seen double digit growth for many altcoins.

However, one curious thing — while Bitcoin's price has been steadily climbing, its dominance has actually fallen.

Forkast.News Lachlan Keller reports on what's driving the markets.

Bitcoin was trading at a little over US$51,500 Wednesday midday Asia time, the second time it's crossed the $50,000 mark since the May sell-off, which saw the entire crypto market tumble.

However, while the price has been on a general upward trend since mid-July, its dominance has continued to fall over the same time frame. Ethereum share of market dominance has remained quite stable, hovering between 17 and 19%.

One expert told Forkast.News, that a Ethereum has maintained its position due to real-world adoption of decentralized finance protocols using its network and altcoin dominance is rising because of the proliferation of use cases.

"The rest of the Ethereum ecosphere has been exploding on two fronts and NFTs being one of those. And on the other side, competitor networks like Solana and Dot rolling out both NFTs and also really innovative auction systems like parachain auctions for Kusama."

One of the biggest altcoin winners over the past week, has been leading meme coin DOGE. It was up more than 30 percent early Wednesday. Asia time, however, has lost some ground since.

For Forkast.News, I'm Lachlan Keller.

And finally, today, Korea's largest crypto exchange has been accused of deliberately listing faulty tokens to earn huge commissions. Lawmaker Min Byoung-dug says that Upbit has delisted 145 altcoins.

That's almost half the total number of tokens it has ever listed, and that it earned 314 billion Korean won, or around US$263 million worth of transaction fees on those tokens.

Now, Min claims that Upbit induced users to trade these cryptocurrencies, knowing that they lacked substance and would eventually be delisted. Well, we chased for some answers here, and Upbit told Forkast.News that it has a strict review and verification system when listing cryptocurrencies and that any de-listing is for investor protection.

It said the delisted tokens were not problematic to begin with, but later failed to meet Upbit's standards. But still, a lot of outstanding questions here, and it's a controversy that remains on the radar for Korean lawmakers.

Meanwhile, it's better news for another of Korea's Big Four exchanges.

Korbit has become the second exchange to be registered by the Financial Intelligence Unit in Korea after its compliance was accepted. And the Big Four have shrugged off any concerns over the new regulations. Upbit, Korbit, Coinone, and Bithumb have grown exponentially. In 2021, the amount of cash deposits held between them grew more than 1,300% compared to June last year.

That should tell you a lot about Korea's crypto adoption.

Korea's love of crypto showing no signs of abating here, even if there are now only four crypto exchanges to serve that market, it continues to grow.

And that's The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. For more, visit Forkast.News. And if you are joining us here on YouTube, it would help us enormously to subscribe because we have fresh content every day Monday through Friday. And hit that like button too, because it's good for staff morale.

I'm Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News. Until the next time.