Iran bans crypto-mining again to prevent blackouts this winter

    02 Jan 2022

    Iran, for the second time this year, ordered a shutdown of authorized cryptocurrency mining centers as part of efforts to ease the strain on the country’s power plants and avoid blackouts, according to Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, director of the state-run Iran Grid Management Co. and a spokesman for Iran’s power industry.

    This is part of efforts to relieve pressure on the country’s energy plants and avoid power outages, according to Mostafa Mashhadi, a spokesman for Iran’s power industry.

    The ban, which will be in place until March 6, will free up 209 megawatts of power for consumption in the household sector, he said in an interview with state TV, Bloomberg reported.

    Mashhadi added that the authorities are cracking down on illegal mining by individuals at home and industrial units on a large scale.

    These unlicensed operators account for the largest share of crypto mining in the country, consuming more than 600 megawatts of electricity.

    Other measures to save fuel include turning off street lights in some areas and regulating office electricity consumption.

    The government expected to increase electricity production by 60% in the summer, Mashhadi said.

    Iran’s daily household gas demand rose to an unprecedented level of 570 million cubic meters per day for the first time ever, while the country exceeded its maximum production of natural gas to 800 million cubic meters per day, according to the National Iranian Gas Company. Excessive demand has also reduced the electricity supply to industrial units.

    This summer, authorities in Iran have also prohibited crypto mining because of fears of its impact on national infrastructure. It follows after massive blackouts in major cities over the country caused by a surge of mining.

    Then, the Iranian President confirmed that crypto mining in the country would remain forbidden till the end of the summer, with “the Ministries of Communication and Information Technology and Energy… responsible for cutting off power to these centers.”

    As part of the government’s efforts to enforce the measures, people caught for cryptocurrency mining from domestic electricity connections were subject to heavy fines, with plans to remain these measures intact for the foreseeable future.

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