According to the Reuters report, Iran has banned the energy-intensive mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for nearly four months, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, as the country faces major power blackouts in many cities. “The ban on the mining of cryptocurrencies is effective immediately until September 22 … Some 85% of the current mining in Iran is unlicensed,” the President said in a televised speech at a cabinet meeting.
The government blame power cuts on cryptocurrency mining.
Cryptocurrencies are added to the blockchain through a process known as mining, where powerful computers compete with each other to solve complex mathematical problems. The process is highly energy-intensive, often relying on electricity generated by fossil fuels, which Iran is rich in. As next month’s presidential election approaches, the blackouts have become very frequent and are criticized by Iranians. The government has blamed the power cuts on cryptocurrency mining, drought, and surging electricity demand in summer. According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, around 4.5% of all Bitcoin mining takes place in Iran.
Authorities target crypto mining in China.
Crypto mining has allowed Iran to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from cryptocurrencies that can be used to lessen the impact of U.S. sanctions. Iran’s economy has been hit hard since 2018 when former President Donald Trump exited Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions. However, the current U.S administration and other global powers have been in talks with Iran to revive the deal. Iran is not the only country that has banned crypto mining. As reported earlier, China has also taken a hostile approach towards cryptocurrency mining in the country. Chinese authorities have announced a crackdown on bitcoin mining to reduce carbon emissions.