Barely three months after lifting its ban on crypto mining, Iran has once again called on authorized crypto miners to shut down their operations to survive the winter blackouts.
Iran had previously placed a ban on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining in May after facing acute power shortages. The country had become an attractive destination for crypto miners with its cheap electricity costs.
However, the local government had to restrict miners from operating after large energy consumption started to take a toll on the country’s power grid. It later abolished the ban for select licensed miners in late September but has now taken away that as well.
As per local reports, chairman of the board and managing director of Iran Grid Management Company (Tavanir) Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi has ordered the miners to shut down their mining business until further notice. Mashhadi said:
“The Energy Ministry has been implementing measures since last month to reduce the use of liquid fuels in power plants, including cutting licensed crypto farms’ power supply, turning off lampposts in less risky areas, and stringent supervision of consumption.”
The country made crypto mining companies a legal entity in 2019 after Iran announced a licensing mechanism for mining businesses. However, many crypto farms are still operating under wraps as registered miners are required to pay higher rates for electricity.
Local reports suggested that registered farms are utilizing 300MW of electricity, almost ten times lower than the unregistered miners. Iran currently accounts for 4.5%–7% of the global Bitcoin hash rate.