Cryptocurrency Mining Banned in Iran as Blackouts and Power Shortages Intensify
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has announced that cryptocurrency mining is banned in Iran, effective immediately. The ban, which will last until Sept. 22, is imposed as many cities in the country are facing major power blackouts.
- Iran has banned cryptocurrency mining effective immediately, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday in a televised speech at a cabinet meeting. He was quoted by the media as saying:
The ban on the mining of cryptocurrencies is effective immediately until September 22.
- Many cities in Iran are facing major power blackouts and the government has blamed power cuts on cryptocurrency mining, drought, and rising demand for electricity in summer. BitcoinLinux recently reported that Iran will shut down licensed crypto miners in peak hours of power consumption.
- Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic estimates that around 4.5% of all bitcoin mining takes place in Iran. The firm said income from mining has allowed “the country to circumvent trade embargoes and earn hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptoassets that can be used to purchase imports and bypass sanctions.”
- Iran requires licensed crypto miners to sell their bitcoins to the central bank directly. Cryptocurrencies mined legally in the country can be used to pay for imports of authorized goods. In April, Iran authorized banks and currency exchanges to use cryptocurrencies to pay for imports.
- Government officials say that a majority of the energy consumption from bitcoin mining comes from illegal miners operating without licenses. In January, Iranian police confiscated 45,000 bitcoin mining machines that were illegally using subsidized electricity. President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday:
Some 85% of the current mining in Iran is unlicensed.
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