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Crypto Mining Investments in Cuba Have Been Severely Impacted by Constant Power Blackouts

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Repeated blackouts in several parts of Cuba have reportedly made operating cryptocurrency mining rigs impossible – and mining unsustainable.

Many Cubans have lost thousands of dollars that they had invested in crypto mining equipment and graphics cards, according to a report by CubaNet.

Numerous young Cuban entrepreneurs saw crypto mining as a way to earn these assets, which would provide them with valuable benefits, including online purchases abroad, as well as sending remittances and payments for services, among others.

Per one such investor, however, the renewed energy crisis and blackouts in Cuba have had a devastating result for this industry, saying that,

“Mining becomes more difficult or almost impossible every day, since deciphering a block can take days with the equipment turned on without interrupting the process and that in Cuba today is impossible.”

Raydel González, a young computer scientist and a miner, went on to say that, he and “many others, had invested a lot of money in cryptocurrency mining equipment that is not cheap,” but that, 

“With the arrival of the blackouts, cryptocurrency mining in Cuba is impossible to sustain.”

Blackouts are not a new issue for Cuba and had been a cause for a number of protests. Energy and Mining Minister Livan Arronte Cruz stated, as Retuers reported in July this year, that “the operating reserves that we have in the electrical system are insufficient to cover the demand, making effects on service inevitable.”

Alternatives are nor profitable

Mining consumes a lot of power, and some searched for alternatives such as battery-powered voltage converters – however, so far “the variants are not profitable or simply not sustainable,” found the report.

Miner Eduardo Gómez, who claims to have invested more than $5,000 dollars, said that he initially didn’t give up and kept investing for several months, adding:

“I thought the solution was to buy a power plant and after that came the big fuel crIisis. Many times I would spend the whole day to be able to buy some gasoline and in the end, with its price and the number of hours that the blackouts increased, it was no longer profitable to do that either.” 

What options are left then? CubaNet’s source stated that miners tried selling their equipment below value, while some even attempted to hide the equipment in “state-owned work centers that have plants” at the risk of getting caught and punished.

“Many Cubans like me have lost their money and try to recover something by selling the equipment below its price. Others moved their mining rigs to their work centers, where there is a power plant, and they have them hidden there; but they are risking that everything will be confiscated if they are caught, or who knows what they can do with them,” said Gómez.

No electricity, no internet

Another thing that mining requires but is not getting in Cuba is uninterrupted internet connection. 

CubaNet reported that, since last Tuesday, 3G and 4G Internet services, voice calls, and SMS services are all being affected as a result of repeated power outages.

The Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA) reportedly said that it is experiencing “technical problems and that is the reason for the instability in all the networks, some radio bases are out of service.”

However, the report cited a note published in the official media Adelante, which said that there is a “lack of electrical fluid,” also indicating that blackouts “have a direct impact on the quality of telecommunications services, since base stations and cabinets run out of energy backup during power failures.”

 
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