Paraguay Seizes 2,738 ASICs in Power Theft Crackdown

Paraguay seizes 2,738 Bitcoin mining units due to unmetered power usage amid ongoing regulatory and legislative challenges in the country's crypto mining sector.
Paraguay Seizes 2,738 ASICs in Power Theft Crackdown

Key Takeaways

  • Paraguay seizes 2,738 Bitcoin ASICs amid power theft crackdown.
  • Former President Mario Abdo Benítez vetoed a bill regulating crypto mining.
  • Major mining operations continue in Paraguay despite regulatory challenges.

Paraguay’s National Electricity Administration (ANDE) seized 2,738 crypto mining units in Salto del Guairá after detecting unmetered power usage.

The crackdown on power theft in the Bitcoin mining sector comes as the country grapples with regulatory challenges.

Using artificial intelligence and power distribution analysis, ANDE discovered the illegal electricity connection, estimating the theft at 1.1 billion guarani ($146,000) per month.

Additionally, five transformers were confiscated, and the operators could face up to four criminal charges.

In May, similar actions against illegal crypto farms occurred in Paraguay, involving multiple agencies, including the National Police.

Despite the raids, Paraguay remains a hub for Bitcoin mining due to its abundant hydropower from the Itaipu Dam.

However, the lack of legal frameworks has led to regulatory uncertainty.

In 2021, Congress introduced legislation to regulate crypto operations, which the Senate passed in 2022.

However, former President Mario Abdo Benítez vetoed the bill, citing concerns about the impact of incentivized mining on national industries.

An attempt to overturn the veto failed, and a new bill proposed in April aims to ban crypto mining until comprehensive regulations are established and ANDE can ensure a stable power supply.

Despite these challenges, major mining operations like Bitfarms, Marathon Digital, and Tether continue to operate in Paraguay.

The temporary ban bill is currently postponed, leaving the future of crypto mining in Paraguay uncertain.

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