Despite Bitcoin’s Dive, a Former Soviet Republic Is Still Betting Big on It

World Bank ranked it one of the most active cryptocurrency sites in the world.

land registry to blockchain, making the government one of the first to rely on the secure digital ledger. Its tax system may soon follow. Georgia aims to beat Malta, Bermuda and other countries known for light-touch regulation of cryptocurrencies to dominate blockchain development.

“The economy’s digital transformation is our highest priority,” said George Kobulia, the economy minister. “We’re supporting this any way we can.”

Georgian wine country.

estimates suggest the company mines just over 5 percent of all Bitcoins, although no one would say how much was being mined here.

But competitors in Georgia reckon it was a fortune. Vakhtang Gogokhia, the chief executive of Golden Fleece, a small cryptomining start-up, said he was pulling in around 10 Bitcoins a month using one megawatt of energy, enough to light 1,000 homes. Bitfury says it constantly consumes at least 45 megawatts of energy, though Mr. Gogokhia suspected it was more.

Critics say the government, by subsidizing operations like Bitfury, is ripping off taxpayers by forcing them to foot the bill for well-connected companies.