Cabinet members of the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy have plans to increase energy prices for cryptocurrency mining firms by up to three times and proposed a new bill in this regard last week.
Per a filing dated Sept 27, the Ministry of Energy wants businesses working with cryptocurrencies, especially crypto miners to pay a rate three times more than is currently charged for their business category.
The proposed increase in price would hold irrespective of the power capacity used by the firm, with the Ministry noting that they are making such a move to “stimulate power saving, raise the effectiveness of power consumption in industries and the non-commercial sector, and to endorse the rational use of electricity.”
While the current rate for general consumers is around 0.35 cents per kWh, a three-time increase would bring that figure to over a dollar and potentially impact crypto mining firms who count on cheap electricity to maximize their returns.
Interestingly, though, the proposed move by the Ministry which is open to public comments until October 12, has already received some negative comments against a price hike for crypto mining firms.
A self-named IT Industry expert, Salvar Rasulev stated that any increase of prices above two times the current rate would be just enough to drive miners away from the country, despite their business representing a way for the state to access foreign currency.
Rasulev wrote in part:
“Instead of supporting a business that would allow Uzbekistan to get hundreds of million dollars in export, which our president and our economy is demanding, you’re shutting down this opportunity and handing it over to other countries instead.”
On the opposite angle, a certain respondent with the name Srapionov Vladimir Ashotovich argued that a price hike is necessary since miners “don’t provide any significant product or service for the country and society” and are only spending valuable energy “heating the atmosphere.”
While Uzbekistan is reportedly stuck with deciding the fate of electricity prices for crypto miners, Stmarket.co reported in July that Iran legalized crypto mining.