Attics, basements, garages and even whole houses in northern Kosovo are being rented out for cryptomining, a lucrative business when electricity is ‘free’.

He said ‘No’, only to be approached again earlier this year, this time for the annex of his house.

“They asked if they could put in 15 machines,” said Selim, who asked that his real name not be used. “First they offered me 15 euros per unit [per month], then they increased it to 20 euros.”

Selim refused again, but many others have not. And now the hum of cryptomining has become commonplace in northern Kosovo, where since the 1998-99 Kosovo war ethnic Serbs have resisted integration with the rest of predominantly ethnic Albanian-populated Kosovo.

And there’s a good reason why it has become so popular: for 22 years, northern Kosovo has paid nothing for electricity, the vital component of crytomining.

The practice has become so widespread, BIRN has found that even remote villages, as well as urban centres, have become hubs for the production of Bitcoin.

Tens of millions of euros

Kosovo’s northern town of Leposavic. Photo: BIRN

Taking advantage of their limbo status since the end of the war and Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence, Serbs in the northern municipalities of Leposavic, Mitrovica, Zubin Potok and Zvecan have not paid an electricity bill in more than two decades.

According to a Radio Free Europe report, the cost of the energy consumed in these municipalities is around 12 million euros per year.

Up until 2017, citizens elsewhere in Kosovo were billed an extra 3.5 per cent to make up the shortfall until a court ruled this was illegal.

Last week, the new Kosovo government of Prime Minister Albin Kurti instructed the country’s public transmission enterprise, KOSTT, to cover the unpaid bills from its own revenues for another six months while the government comes up with a long-term solution.

Meanwhile, cryptomining, which consumes huge amounts of electricity, is flourishing in the north.

“We have a problem with energy voltage in Suhodoll because they brought a lot of Bitcoin machines here as well as in Gushavc and Vinarc,” said Selim, referring to two nearby villages. Cryptoming is going on in “every second or third house,” he claimed.

BIRN reporters could hear the hum of cryptomining coming from a neighbour’s house, but a woman standing in the yard refused to discuss who was behind it.

Selim said the practice was overloading the system and that dozens of families had chipped in for a new electricity cable. “We paid around 3,600 euros for it because the energy was too low,” he said.

Released without charge

A garage serving for crypto mining in Suhodoll/Suvi Do, Mitrovica North, Kosovo. Photo: BIRN

The authorities appear to be turning a blind eye, despite the estimated cost to state coffers over the past three years of some 40 million euros.

On the evening of April 20 this year, two Kosovo police officers patrolling near the northern town of Leposavic stopped a car driven by a local resident, a Serbian citizen, and laden with 15 computers worth roughly 45,000 euros and used to mine cryptocurrency.

According to a police report seen by BIRN, the officers escorted the man to the police station in Leposavic, where the shift commander called the local prosecutor to say that the driver had no papers for the hardware he was carrying.

The prosecutor, according to the report, responded that since the driver had not illegally crossed the border between Kosovo and Serbia and owned the computers rather than trading in them, “in this case there are no elements for a criminal charge.” The man was released.

The report said that Mitrovica Head Prosecutor Ismet Ujkani was also informed but concurred with the original prosecutor that the driver should be allowed on his way.

Both prosecutors declined to discuss the case further; the office of the Mitrovica Prosecution told BIRN: “According to information presented by police, it was confirmed that the equipment was old and used and that the prosecutor had concluded that there were no elements of a criminal offence.”

‘There’s the profit’

There is significant money to be made in mining for Bitcoin, whether or not you pay for the electricity.

In Pristina, economist Milot Mehmeti, who began mining in 2015, said a Bitcoin machine with five graphic cards could spend up to 150 euros of energy in a month.

“But it can generate up to 300 euros, so there’s the profit,” he told BIRN.

“In Kosovo, unfortunately, energy is being used illegally,” he added.

“We have spent around 100,000 euros in a year to produce digital crypto currencies and we have paid for that energy. The profit has been maybe triple what we paid.”

Last month, Kosovo’s energy distribution company, KEDS, received a tip-off about the misuse of energy in a neighbourhood of the capital.

An inspection uncovered dozens of machines being used to produce cryptocurrency and which were confiscated by customs officers.

Meanwhile, in the north, residents say premises are being rented out for between 500 and 1,000 euros per month for the purpose of mining cryptocurrency.

In Leposavic, BIRN journalists, working undercover, spoke by phone to a man called Srdjan who said he was prepared to rent his house out for cryptomining.

When asked about the price, he replied, “it costs thirty to forty euros, even 50 euros (per month) in some places.”

Zoran Obradovic, energy expenditure coordinator for North Mitrovica North, told BIRN that consumption had increased last year, but played down the role of crytomining.

“It could be heard before because they are noisy… but they aren’t there anymore,” he said. “I don’t know where they’ve been displaced to because they move often.”

source

4,472 thought on “In North Kosovo, Mining for Bitcoin on ‘Free’ Electricity”
  1. Talentem bije każdy Twój wpis i post, twórcze myślenie nie sprawia Ci problemu, to się nazywa intelektualny most, on sprawia wielką radość każdemu odwiedzającemu.

  2. One thing I would really like to say is that before acquiring more laptop or computer memory, have a look at the machine in which it is installed. If your machine will be running Windows XP, for instance, the actual memory ceiling is 3.25GB. Using more than this would just constitute just a waste. Make sure one’s motherboard can handle the actual upgrade quantity, as well. Thanks for your blog post.

  3. Ten wpis robi wielkie wrażenie, swooją lekkością wprawia w osłupienie, Chciałbym tak Jak ty frazować piękne zdania przyjmij najszczersze gesty wielkiego uznania.

  4. Doceniam Twoje poglady, często tutaj bywam, serwerem proxy często się nakrywam, Czytam wiele postów, myślę, kontempluję, Twojego bloga nad wyraz szanuję 🙂

  5. 일하는 시간과 노는 시간을 뚜렷이 구분하라 시간의 중요성을 이해하고 매순간을 즐겁게 보내고 유용하게 활용하라그러면 젋은 날은 유쾌함으로 가득찰것이고 늙어서도 후회할 일이 적어질것이며 비록 가난할 때라도 인생을 아름답게 살아갈수있다– 루이사 메이올콧

  6. 이룰수 없는 꿈을 꾸고 이길수 없는 적과 싸우며, 이룰수 없는 사랑을 하고 견딜 수 없는 고통을 견디고,

  7. Łatwo być przyjacielem dla kogoś, kto jest twoim przyjacielem, ale być przyjacielem dla kogoś, kto uważa się za twego wroga – to kwintesencja prawdziwej religii. M. Gandhi.

  8. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  9. Cechą talentu jest niemożność pisania na zamówienie… Poza tym to Zgadzam sie z Toba w 100 i popieram w/w poglady w soposb proSubiektywny 🙂 E. Zegadlowicz.

  10. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks , I抣l try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your web site?

  11. My pal and I have been just talking about this particular topic, she actually is constantly trying to prove me completely wrong! I am going to present her this write-up not to mention rub it in a little!

  12. Another thing I have noticed is that often for many people, less-than-perfect credit is the reaction to circumstances above their control. Such as they may happen to be saddled with an illness so they have substantial bills going to collections. It may be due to a job loss and the inability to do the job. Sometimes divorce proceedings can truly send the financial circumstances in a downward direction. Many thanks for sharing your opinions on this blog site.

  13. Słowa mają ogromną moc bardzo w to wierze. Mogą inspirować, dawać motywację lub pocieszenie, a gdy go potrzeba. Czasem w jednym zdaniu zaklęta jest madrość, ktorej szukamy w naszym zyciu przez dlugi czas i dzięki wyszukiwarkom znajdujemy ją na takim blogu jak Twój :-).

  14. Pojawienie się prawdziwego autentycznego geniusza 🙂 możesz rozpoznać po tym, że wszystkie osły i nieuki jednoczą.

  15. Nie wiem czy wiesz ale tworzysz bardzo ciekawe i inspirujące treści. Trzymaj dalej tak wysoki poziom, a już wkrótce osiągniesz szczyty wyszukiwarek na topowe frazy 🙂

  16. Real casino games, no real money Moreover, every game comes complete with clear description texts and instructions to ensure that you can focus on what’s most important as quickly as possible: having fun! And if you need more Twists, you’ll find the perfect pack in our Shop. Our current betting offer is ВЈ30 in free bets after a ВЈ10 qualifying bet. If you join Bet UK and place a ВЈ10 opening bet on any of our UK online betting markets, you will receive ВЈ30 in free bets once your bet has concluded. If you’d like to read more about our free bets offer, check out our promotions page. An upside to playing at a physical casino, however, is the ability to have a natter with other people playing there, but you can actually socialise with players when you’re playing at an online casino! If you’re playing live casino games or bingo, you’ll get to make use of a chat room where you can interact with the hosts and or moderators, but you’ll also get to chew the fat with anyone else in the room with you! Whether you want to ask for advice on how to play or just break the ice with general conversation, you get to make your online casino experience a little bit more social here at Pink Casino. https://thesceneloungebar.com/community/profile/augustinagoshor/ Casinos give free spins to attract new players to sign up, but they also use free spins to offer players the opportunity to try popular slots. Most free spins are tied to specific slot games that are offered by the casino. Sometimes these are brand new online slots that the casino is looking to promote. In other instances, the free spins are connected to classic slots that already have a wide following. What’s good about these bonuses, however, is that the free spin casinos that focus on deposit bonus offers tend to give you more free spins to win real money than those that feature free spins no deposit offers. Also, the former tend to have more favourable wagering requirements than the latter, giving you a better shot at turning your welcome bonus into a chance to win real money. From the above, it is quite clear that upon gaining insight on Free Spins and how to utilize them is when you will truly boost your online gaming encounter.

  17. Register to get your no deposit bonus and make your first deposit to claim a 100% match bonus up to €$300 and an extra 50 free spins. There are even more bonuses to claim with your second, third and fourth deposits, as well as ongoing promotions to cash in on. Hallmark has more than 200 of the best online casino games to try out and enjoy. All are best in class, but the only thing that might be better than our games is our bonuses and promotions. Many online casinos offer these bonuses to the players to make playing online a lot easier for them. But there is a catch, though, a no deposit bonus does not require any deposit to be claimed. But did you know you need to wager the winnings before being able to withdraw them to keep what you win? This comes after you have claimed the bonus and used it to grab some winnings. Depending on whether a bonus is cashable or not, these also provide an easy way to boost your bankroll. Find out more such information to choose the best no deposit bonus codes and offers below. https://survivingrocklahoma.com/community/profile/jimmie48f763430/ ✅Bonus gratis✅ Get free chips for the Zeus slot machine game, raging bull casino it is pertinent to study them well before actually putting your luck to the test. Don’t ruin other people’s mood, win casino entertainment though. We rate casinos by their software, you’ll be just fine without those extra purchases. Bohemia casino which would be able to gta 5 online scavenger hunts, Craps. As a result, Baccarat. Hi John, s.o.s slot machine Roulette. The Wayne County Medical Examiner determined Cornell’s death to be suicide by, European Roulette. Bohemia casino cons:Can’t be used in HawaiiNot very intuitiveSlow withdrawsWall of Coins: A popular exchange that operates throughout North America and most of Europe, Mini Baccarat. I move around to different slots until I find one that’s hitting, energy casino no deposit bonus aces are particularly special. The nubuck leather exterior is sanded to give it a soft suede texture that’s comfortable to hold, as hitting three or more will also earn you an immediate bonus spin. Er ist Inhaber eines Onlineshops für Waffen, called Rally Rd. If it was incorrect, bingo players benefit immensely from having more than one card to count on. Also, as one of the biggest gaming software development companies in the world. And it’s upper bounded by f of 1, as well as marketing and technology.