Paraguay to Bolster Efforts in Combating Illegal Cryptocurrency Mining

Publish on 26 March 2024

The Government of Paraguay is intensifying its efforts to combat illegal cryptocurrency mining operations in the country. In a recent meeting involving ANDE (National Power Administration), the Supreme Court, and the Department of Justice, it was agreed to take swift action against these crimes due to the significant damage they inflict on the Paraguayan power grid.

The collaboration between the three institutions aims to facilitate the Department of Justice's handling of these cases, ensuring effective prosecution and punishment for those involved in the theft of electrical energy.

Dr. Luis María Benítez Riera, the president of the Supreme Court, assured that the country's courts would prioritize these cases, ensuring that due process is followed.

Paraguay's attractiveness for relatively low power tariffs has made it a target for illegal cryptocurrency mining operations since 2022. ANDE has previously raised concerns about multiple operations that unlawfully extract energy from the power grid without proper payment, resulting in significant financial losses estimated at $400,000 monthly.

To address this issue, the government authorized significant increases, up to 50%, in power tariffs imposed on miners. However, this decision was met with complaints from miners regarding the feasibility of their operations.

Since 2019, the Paraguayan justice system has received 60 complaints related to energy theft linked to cryptocurrency mining. Forty-three interventions have been carried out in these cases, which not only affected the quality of electric energy services but also resulted in serious property damage to ANDE.

Despite these challenges, companies like Bitfarms and Pow.re have chosen Paraguay as a strategic location to establish and expand their mining operations due to the availability of cheap green hydroelectric power sources in the country.

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