Iran authorities seize 7,000 crypto miners in largest haul to date

Iranian police have seized 7,000 cryptocurrency mining units at an illegal cryptocurrency farm, according to a report from Reuters, citing Iranian state media. 

According to the report, this is their largest haul to date and comes less than a month after Iranian authorities banned crypto mining until September of this year. The ban was a part of the government's efforts to reduce the number of power blackouts which they blamed on overwhelming high electricity demand over the summer. 

According to Tehran police chief General Hossein Rahimi, the 7,000 miners were seized in a deserted factory in the west of the capital, state news agency IRNA said, per the Reuters report.

The country accounts for around 4.5% of all bitcoin mining, according to data collected by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

According to the firm, the country's cheap electricity supply has attracted many miners recently. An increase in mining activity has enabled the country to "circumvent" trade embargoes and earn hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto assets which can then be used to purchase imports and sidestep sanctions.