The national government of Argentina is looking for a way to solve the energy crisis that the country is going through, and thus prevent the power outages of the last week from being repeated in the future. To that end, an eye has been set on bitcoin (BTC) mining farms. The idea is to know where they are, increase the rates for this sector and “discourage” such ventures.
The Compañía Administradora del Mercado Mayorista Eléctrico Sociedad Anónima (CAMMESA) sent large users and self-generators of electricity a letter in which they are requested to provide details about their cryptocurrency mining activities.
With these data, it is intended not only to establish an extra cost for this industry in Argentina, but also to require infrastructure investments to help sustain the supposed great demand they represent. An indirect consequence of these increased requirements would be to discourage their proliferation somewhat.
In the document that can be seen in the image below, it is stated that the users reached by the request must send “as a sworn statement” the information on the energy consumed to mine cryptocurrencies during the years 2020 and 2021, as well as the expected consumption for 2022 and 2023. The data must be sent within 15 business days after receiving the request.
It should be noted that the measure does not affect all miners equally. At first, people who mine from their homes are not required to report their activities. The request from CAMMESA and the Undersecretary of Electric Energy is aimed mainly at mining farms, with a higher processing power and electricity demand.
The energy crisis in Argentina, bitcoin’s fault?
In recent weeks, much of the Argentine territory has reported very high temperatures, at the beginning of summer in the southern hemisphere. With indicators above 35 ° C in many days, the National Meteorological Service has issued various alerts so that the population takes care of the heat wave.
This oppressive climate meant a very high energy demand for the infrastructure of the entire country. In many parts, such as the city of Buenos Aires and different points of the homonymous province, Santa Fe and Córdoba, there were cuts of light at different times of the week.
Although with the rains of January 1, 2022, the situation eased, the State continues to search for “culprits” with the excuse of preventing these problems in the future. And that’s when bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining appear on the stage.
As in this case, bitcoin mining is accused of requesting large amounts of energy from countries’ power grids. However, as CriptoNoticias has reported in the past, there are reports that conclude that this industry consumes less than 0.1% of global energy, and even more than half of it would come from renewable sources, according to other research.
Now, this situation in Argentina is not new and, as indicated journalistic reports local media, seems to be closely related to the lack of investment in infrastructure in recent years. Therefore, linking the crisis and power outages exclusively with the growth of cryptocurrency mining in 2021 may be, to say the least, hasty.