Iran Continues Crackdown On Illegal Crypto Mining And Seizes Hundreds Of Mining Rigs

Iran’s authorities persist in their efforts to curb unauthorized cryptocurrency mining. The state power distribution company has recently identified more than a dozen underground crypto farms in Tehran and other regions, disconnecting hundreds of mining units illegally connected to the grid.

Energy service destroys 14 crypto farms in homes across Iran

The Iranian government continues to crack down on unlicensed crypto mining operations. Iran’s state power generation, distribution and transmission company Tavanir seized 227 mining rigs last week. His employees found the devices in 14 illegal cryptocurrency farms established in homes in different parts of the country.

The mining machines were found in homes during inspections by Tavanir, the utility company announced, cited by the Ibena news agency and the English-language business daily Financial Tribune. Coin minting facilities were discovered in the provinces of Tehran, East Azerbaijan, Isfahan and Khuzestan, reports revealed.

Cryptocurrency mining has become a popular source of additional income for a growing number of Iranians. The government legalized the activity in 2019. Entities wishing to operate coin minting data centers must obtain a permit from the Ministry of Industries and more than 50 companies have already done so.

While registered mining companies must pay for the energy they use at higher export rates, private consumers in Iran have access to subsidized domestic electricity. The cheap energy available and the rise in cryptocurrency prices in the last year have led to the appearance of illegal mining farms throughout the Islamic Republic.

Both licensed and underground crypto miners have been largely blamed for electricity shortages this summer, when extraordinarily hot weather increased energy demand. In May, authorities imposed a temporary ban on all cryptocurrency mining to reduce the energy deficit. Then in August, Tavanir announced that it would lift restrictions on licensed miners on September 22 when temperatures began to drop.

The power company seizes all equipment from illegal miners and the attorney general’s office recently banned the release of confiscated hardware until the Iranian parliament decides how to deal with unregistered cryptocurrency farms and their operators. So far, Tavanir has seized 221,390 mining devices and closed 5,756 illegal mining facilities. Its owners face fines for damages inflicted on the national distribution network.

According to official estimates provided by the Iranian power company, crypto farms authorized by the Ministry of Industries currently consume around 400 megawatts (MW) of electricity. At the same time, unlicensed miners have been accused of burning almost 2,000 MW a day.

Tavanir warned of potential power outages during the winter months when demand for electricity increases again amid continued pressure on the national grid by illegal mining operations. “Increasing demand for electricity by unauthorized crypto miners is likely to cause blackouts this winter when gas consumption is also at its peak, as it was in the summer,” the company explained. He also complained that the current sanctions are not harsh enough to discourage illegal miners and called for stricter measures.

Reference: news.bitcoin.com

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