Cryptocurrency mining has been banned in Iran until 22 September, ahead of the country’s peak electricity demand season. The country is planning to avoid blackouts in major cities this summer due to an expected energy crisis.
According to a report published by Bloomberg citing an official statement by Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, approximately 85% of the cryptocurrency mining farms in the country are unlicensed. Iranian authorities have increased surveillance of illegal mining activities in the region.
Subsidized energy has made Iran a hub for cryptocurrency mining activities. According to the latest data from blockchain analytics and crypto compliance solutions provider, Elliptic, Iran accounts for nearly 4.5% of the total Bitcoin mining around the world.
In January 2021, Iran launched a crackdown on illegal cryptocurrency mining farms in the country and closed more than 1,600 unauthorized units. Tavanir, Iran’s state-owned power generation, distribution and transmission company, mentioned that the illegal Bitcoin and crypto mining farms in the country are causing heavy losses to the power distributors in the country.
FUD related to the usage of energy in cryptocurrency mining has been on the rise since the start of 2021. Earlier this month, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, criticized Bitcoin for its energy usage and termed BTC a highly centralized digital currency due to the dominance of Chinese BTC mining firms. Authorities in China announced a crackdown on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining last week amid regulatory concerns. The crypto community has accelerated efforts to tackle the issue of energy usage in the mining of digital currencies. Earlier this week, Elon Musk met with some of the leading BTC miners of North America to explore the possibility to use renewable energy sources for crypto mining.
Michael Saylor, CEO of business intelligence firm, MicroStrategy, hosted the meeting and expressed his optimism regarding a transparent and standardized reporting of Bitcoin energy usage. Currently, the world’s largest cryptocurrency is trading near $40,000 with a market cap of $750 billion.