NEW YORK - Kosovo has reportedly banned cryptocurrency mining due to a severe energy crisis in the Balkan country.
The Independent reports that the ban was announced this week to reduce electricity consumption.
Economy minister Artane Rizvanolli says the ban was proposed by a committee dealing with the issues the country faces due to the energy shortfall, siliconrepublic reported.
"Law enforcement agencies will stop the production of the activity in question with the support of all relevant institutions which will identify the locations of cryptocurrency production," Rizvanolli said in a statement.
Kosovo burns coal for most of its power but it has faced supply issues due to a power plant being knocked offline.
Bitcoin mining uses large amounts of energy and it can cripple the electricity system and even cause blackouts.
News.com.au reported that energy in Kosovo had been relatively cheap until recently, attracting crypoto-miners.
Electric car maker Tesla announced last year that it would stop accepting Bitcoin as a payment due to environmental concerns.
"We are concerned about rapid increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel," CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter. He added that cryptocurrency is a "good idea on many levels" but its promise cannot come at a "great cost to the environment."