Iran orders crypto miners to stop operations to stop winter blackouts

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The authorities in Iran have again urged licensed miners to cease their activities in the face of electricity shortages in the cold winter months. After a period of similar restrictions last summer, authorized companies were allowed to resume mining in September.

Crypto mining farms in Iran will close in winter

Given the expectation that energy demand will increase across the country at low temperatures in the coming months, the Iranian government is now taking steps to limit consumption and avoid an electricity deficit. Just like earlier this year, the measures will impact the country’s growing crypto mining industry.

Tavanir, the Iranian power generation, distribution and transmission company, recently ordered authorized cryptocurrency mining centers to take their power-hungry hardware offline, the English-language business newspaper Financial Tribune reported.

The Iranian Ministry of Energy has been trying to reduce the use of liquid fuels in power plants since last month, Tavanir’s spokesman Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi told the state broadcaster IRIB. Shutting down power to licensed crypto farms is part of a list of measures that include turning off lampposts in safer areas at night and closely monitoring consumption, the official said.

The utility assumes that these measures will help prevent potential blackouts in winter, when there is greater demand for electricity. Mashhadi added that Iranian power plants had managed to save some fuel over the next few months, but also stressed that consumers should be careful about their gas and electricity consumption.

Iranian crypto miners forced to deal with restrictions again

This is not the first time this year that licensed Iranian miners have been asked to turn off their equipment. In May, authorities in Tehran announced a temporary ban on crypto mining as demand for electricity increases and supply is inadequate due to the hot and dry weather. Companies that minted digital currencies were also blamed for the scarcity.

Tavanir lifted restrictions in late September, citing a decrease in electricity consumption towards the end of summer when temperatures drop. The suspension of authorized mining has been criticized by the local crypto community as it is estimated that licensed companies 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 put in place a licensing regime for companies operating in the industry. However, since registered crypto farms have to buy the electricity they need at higher export rates, many Iranian miners have preferred to stay under the radar and use subsidized household electricity.

Tavanir has been looking for underground mining facilities this year. Media reports in November showed the state-controlled utility seized over 220,000 mining machines and closed nearly 6,000 illegal crypto farms across the country. Their operators face fines for damage to the national distribution network and other penalties.

Tags in this story

Prohibition, Bitcoin, coinage, crypto, crypto farms, crypto miners, crypto mining, crypto currencies, crypto currency, demand, electricity, energy, Iran, Iranians, Iranians, Islamic Republic, measures, miners, mining, mining farms, electricity, electricity suppliers , Restrictions, supply, tavanir, utility

Do you think Iran can cope with its electricity deficit in the long term and ensure a stable power supply for its crypto mining industry? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a tech-savvy journalist from Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’ quote: “Being a writer is what I am and not what I do.” In addition to crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two more Sources of inspiration.

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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