Iranian officials have warned their citizens that cryptocurrency mining will be responsible for "10 percent of electricity outages this winter". Bitcoin mining in Iran is currently legal, and some 19,500 Bitcoins are mined annually.
The State Electric Company released a statement with state news agency IRNA in which they warned of electricity outages this winter, while also noting that illegal mining was responsible for 20% of power outages in the summer.
While Iran was one of the first countries to legalise bitcoin mining, with the caveat that miners should hold a bitcoin mining license. The number of illegal bitcoin miners has risen significantly, and according to the State Electric Company "illegal" miners who usually have access to subsidised electricity consume between six and seven times more power than those with permits”.
In May this year Iranian authorities announced a temporary ban on crypto mining following a number of unplanned power cuts across the nation, before lifting the ban in September. And in June, Reuters reported that Iranian police seized 7,000 computer miners at an illegal cryptocurrency farm, the largest haul to date.
As of August, the government had issued 30 crypto farm licences. Semnan province has the largest number with 6, while Alborz province has the second largest number with 4.
Since China’s official crypto mining ban, other countries such as Iran, Kazakhstan, Canada, and the US have increased their crypto mining capacity, with a number of Chinese mining companies relocating or selling their machines to these countries.
The increase in awareness of the energy consumption that Bitcoin mining requires has led to various governments and authorities clamping down on the mining industry. Nonetheless, environmentally-friendly crypto mining alternatives such as the use of hydroelectric power, are increasingly being used instead of the high energy consuming coal derived energy.
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