Iranian authorities have again asked authorized miners to halt their activities amid power shortages during the cold winter months. After a period of similar restrictions last summer, licensed companies were allowed to resume mining in September.
Iran’s crypto mining farms shut down during winter
Anticipating an increase in energy needs across the country with low temperatures in the coming months, the Iranian government is now taking measures to limit consumption and avoid an electricity deficit. Much like earlier this year, the measures will affect the country’s growing crypto mining industry.
Tavanir, the Iranian electricity generation, distribution and transmission company, recently asked authorized cryptocurrency mining centers to unplug their power-hungry hardware, the English-language business daily Financial Tribune reported.
Iran’s energy ministry has been trying to reduce the use of liquid fuels at power plants since last month, Tavanir spokesman Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi told state broadcaster IRIB. Cutting power to licensed crypto farms is part of a list of actions that also include turning off street lights in safer areas at night and strict monitoring of consumption, the official detailed.
The utility believes these measures will help prevent potential blackouts in winter, when electricity is in high demand. Mashhadi added that Iranian power plants have been successful in saving fuel for the next few months, but also stressed that consumers should be cautious about the volume of their gas and electricity consumption.
Iranian crypto miners forced to face restrictions again
This is not the first time this year that authorized Iranian minors have been asked to shut down their equipment. In May, authorities in Tehran announced a temporary ban on cryptocurrency mining amid growing demand for electricity and insufficient supply caused by the hot, dry weather. Companies that strike digital currencies have also been blamed for the shortages.
Tavanir lifted the restrictions in late September, citing a drop in electricity use towards the end of the summer when temperatures drop. The suspension of licensed mining has been criticized by the local crypto community, as estimates indicated that licensed entities only account for around 300 megawatts (MW) of consumption while illegal miners burn up to 3,000 MW. per day.
The Islamic Republic legalized bitcoin mining in 2019, when the government introduced a licensing regime for companies involved in the industry. However, since registered crypto farms are required to purchase the electricity they need at higher export rates, many Iranian miners have preferred to stay under the radar and use subsidized household electricity.
Tavanir tackled underground mining facilities this year. Media reports in November revealed that the state-controlled utility confiscated more than 220,000 mining machines and shut down nearly 6,000 illegal crypto farms across the country. Their operators face fines for damage to the national distribution network and other penalties.
Do you think Iran will be able to meet its long-term energy deficit and secure a stable supply of electricity for its crypto mining industry? Tell us in the comments section below.
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