Last Friday, Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy presented a new bill that would imply a significant increase in energy rates to cryptocurrency miners, which may pose a threat to that industry in the country.
This bill establishes that companies that work with crypto assets, including miners, will have to pay a fee three times higher than what they currently pay for their commercial category.
It should be noted that, in Uzbekistan, the price of electricity for consumers in general is around 3.5 cents per kWh. That’s why companies seek jurisdictions with lower energy costs, with the aim of having a greater return on investment.
The draft bill is open for public comment until October 12. According to information published on Uzbekistan government website, so far 9 comments and suggestions have been published, which can be voted by the audience.
Among the commentators who have published so far is Salvar Rasulev, an IT entrepreneur, who believes that raising prices would scare miners and close the country’s path to the cryptocurrency industry. He also argues that mining brings foreign currency to the country, proving beneficial despite the amount of electricity it requires.
“Instead of supporting a business that will allow Uzbekistan to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in exports, which our economy demands, this opportunity is being closed and handed over to other countries.”
On the other hand, Srapionov Vladimir Ashotovich, another of the interviewees, thinks that the increase in prices for miners is the right thing, since in his opinion they waste energy by heating the atmosphere. Besides, “they don’t provide a valuable product or service for the society and the country”, said.
However, most of the comments published so far suggest that the cryptocurrency industry in Uzbekistan should be stimulated by the government, and that a differentiated approach to the price of electricity for miners should be taken.