Fears about cryptocurrency have been raised as a result of a harsh crackdown in Kazakhstan, which has resulted in a global Bitcoin crash.
As protests and the ensuing crackdown become increasingly violent, the ongoing political crisis in Kazakhstan has prompted a global Bitcoin crash.
Protests in Kazakhstan have prompted President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who is backed by Russia, to respond with a harsh crackdown.
On Friday, President Tokayev issued a shoot-to-kill order against violent protesters, claiming that two police officers had been beheaded.
The global Bitcoin price has plummeted as a result of the ongoing chaos, with Kazakhstan accounting for nearly a fifth of the world’s Bitcoin miners.
On January 6, President Tokayev reportedly ordered telecom providers to block internet access, throwing the cryptocurrency mining industry into disarray.
The internet outage in Kazakhstan, the world’s second-largest bitcoin mining country, has reduced the amount of computing power dedicated to bitcoin.
Bitcoin prices fell below (dollar)42,000 on Thursday, marking their lowest point since September 2020.
After Kazakhstan’s blackout, Bitcoin’s hashrate – the amount of computing power used for mining – fell by 12%, according to Larry Cermak, vice president of research at cryptocurrency site The Block.
Following a crackdown in China last year, a large number of mining companies relocated to the former Soviet state.
This comes as President Tokayev blamed anti-government protests on foreign-trained “terrorist” gangs.
President Tokayev said in a televised address on Friday that he had personally given the order to use lethal force against protesters without warning.
He claimed that up to 20,000 “bandits” had attacked Almaty, the country’s financial capital, destroying state property.
“Those who do not surrender will be eliminated,” President Tokayev stated flatly.
In a “peacekeeping” mission, around 2,500 troops from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation – an alliance of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan – have been deployed.
The interior ministry announced on Friday that 26 protesters and 18 police and security personnel had been killed in the previous week’s clashes.
“Dozens of attackers were liquidated” in Almaty overnight, according to a police spokeswoman.
According to the ministry, more than 3,800 people have been detained.
On Sunday, protests erupted in Mangistau, an oil-producing western province, after a cap on petroleum gas, which many people use to power their cars, was lifted.
The country’s leaders reversed their decision on the hike, but the unrest only grew, leading to the worst violence in the former Soviet republic’s 30-year history.