• Afghan Computer Engineer Flees Taliban, Gets Arrested in Turkey for Trying to Mine Bitcoin and Ethereum

  • After studying computer science, Muhammad Ali, an Afghani man in his twenties, wanted to start a Bitcoin and Ethereum mining firm.

    Ali chose to depart once the Taliban took control of the country, knowing that the Taliban would certainly prohibit the Internet and prevent him from mining cryptocurrency or even owning a smartphone with a camera.

    Forced to run across Iran and Turkey while avoiding border patrols

    Ali spoke with us about the factors that compelled him and other Afghan refugees to flee the country in search of a better life in nations where the Internet and contemporary technology are not considered bad and are not outlawed.

    Currently, a large number of Afghan migrants are attempting to use Turkey as a transit country to reach European countries. In addition, Turkey has already taken in four million Syrian refugees. As a result, it is beefing up security along all of its borders, including the one with Iran. Some Afghan refugees are attempting to enter Turkey through that nation, and some have succeeded in eluding border officials.

    Ali took refuge in a drainage tunnel near the Turkish province of Bitlis in the east. He told us that he was waiting for a ride to the West and that he wanted to get to Europe. Another 50 individuals had taken refuge in the tunnel with him.

    Attempts to start a crypto mining business have failed.

    Muhammad Ali had studied computer science and taught web design in Afghanistan. Aside from that, he had a YouTube channel where he taught people how to make money online, among other things.

    He intended to start a Bitcoin and Ethereum mining farm. He did say, though, that once in power, the Taliban would outlaw the Internet and even prohibit the ownership of smartphones with cameras. The Taliban opposes technologies and amenities that are commonplace in Western countries, such as movie theaters and television shows. Only religious Muslim music is permitted, while all other live performances and recordings are prohibited.

    Ali sent us a text message informing them that he had been detained by Turkish police. The arrest appears to be related to illegally entering the Turkish border.

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