The bizarre tale of crypto mining in Abkhazia has taken a deadly turn, with a bloody firefight over mining rigs resulting in a death in the de facto South Caucasus state.
As previously reported, a confusing row over the status of crypto mining, which has thrived in Abkhazia in recent years, has led to political chaos. Legalization was followed by temporary bans, government u-turns, long periods of enforced blackouts, bans on mining rig imports, a sweeping crackdown – and most recently a government-led bid to build a technopark dedicated to mining, along with a dedicated power substation to fuel it.
But in many areas, anarchic scenes have broken out, with some miners driven out of villages by furious residents who have been left without power for days on end.
However, the vicious gunfight marks a tragic new low for the fate of crypto mining in Abkhazia. EADaily reported that the prosecution service in the Gudauta region had “opened a criminal case on a suspected murder of a person,” who died from “machine gun”-inflicted wounds.
The alleged shooter and “several other people,” the outlet added, referring to prosecution reports, had been attempting to “prevent a robbery of mining equipment.”
The incident, prosecutors said, took place at about 11:30 PM local time on October 20, when a group of five men, three of whom were armed with “illegally obtained” “Kalashnikov assault rifles,” and the other two equipped with “Makarov pistols” moved onto a plot of land in the village of Aatsy owned by one of their number to “attempt to stop the theft of equipment intended for the extraction of cryptocurrency by at least five people.”
The report made no mention of whether the alleged robbers were armed or not, but it appears that the heavily armed vigilantes eventually opened fire.
One man was charged with murder, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Abkhazia said in a statement, with investigators claiming that the accused fully “realized the danger of his actions when he fired shots [at the deceased] from close range.”
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