Iran cuts electricity to licensed crypto miners: Bloomberg

Quick Take

  • Iran will cut the power supply to crypto miners from June 22 of this year. 
  • The country is facing increased power demand and the possibility of shortages. 

Iran will cut electric power to all its 118 legal crypto mining centers this month as the country faces increased energy demand.

According to a Bloomberg report, electricity to all 118 legal crypto mining centers in Iran to cease from June 22 ahead of a seasonal spike in power demand, Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, spokesman for the country’s power industry, said during an interview with Iranian state TV. Mashhadi also warned the country of increased power shortages this week as demand surpasses 63,000 megawatts. 

Iran's relationship with crypto mining has been fraught. In 2020, it gave over 1,000 miners licenses to operate following legalization. Such moves have meant that licensed bitcoin farms have popped up in the country, hoping to capitalize on the country's cheap power. According to studies, Iran has also used crypto mining to lessen the impact of sanctions levelled upon the country. 

At the same time, however, the country has cracked down on illegal mining activity — seizing 7,000 crypto mining units in June of last year. It has also made moves to shut down illegal cryptocurrency mining farms, disconnecting them from the national power grid and prosecuting the miners in question. It also previously imposed a ban on its authorized crypto mining centers in December for power-saving measures. 

Such policies have had an impact on the mining industry in Iran. It was estimated by Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic in May of last year that 4.5% of all Bitcoin mining took place in the country. It is now down to 0.12% as of January, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF). 

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