Local media revealed that authorities in Iran have shut down nearly 7,000 unauthorized crypto-mining facilities in the past two years. According to one report, most of the illegal bitcoin farms are concentrated in five provinces of the Islamic Republic, including Tehran.
Iran continues its crackdown on unlicensed crypto-mining
Iranian officials have separated and dissolved a total of 6,914 crypto farms operating without a mining license. That’s since the authorities began cracking down on illegal crypto mining in 2020, Iran’s English-language daily Financial Tribune revealed this week.
The newspaper quoted a report by Iribnews.ir, detailing that these facilities had burned about 645 megawatts of electric power while minting cryptocurrencies without permission. It is estimated that this is equal to the annual consumption of three main regions – North Khorasan, South Khorasan, and Shahrmahal Bakhtiari.
Cryptocurrency mining has been a legal industrial activity in Iran for nearly three years now, after the government approved sector regulations in July 2019. The licensing system was introduced and companies wishing to engage in business need to obtain permission from the Ministry of Industries.
However, since registered crypto miners are required to purchase the electrical power they need at higher export rates, many Iranian miners have chosen to stay under the radar. They usually illegally connect to the network and use subsidized electricity to power their mining equipment.
The Iranian Energy Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) is hunting underground crypto farms, shutting down and confiscating hundreds of thousands of mining machines. If identified, its operators could be fined for damage to the distribution network, and a report last month revealed the government is preparing to increase penalties.
The country’s blackouts last summer were partly blamed on the increased use of electricity to mint coins, and even licensed miners were asked to shut down their equipment. They were allowed to resume operations in September, but were again ordered to suspend their activities in the face of growing power shortages in the cold winter months.
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