Iranian Authorities Seize 1,000 Bitcoin Mining Machines After Overconsumption of Subsidized Electricity

  • Iran seized bitcoin mining machines from two abandoned factories, due to their substantial energy use.
  • An official statement from the Energy ministry stated that mining cryptocurrencies with the country’s power grid is illegal.

Cryptocurrency mining, while necessary for the blockchain, tends to be rather expensive, since it requires a substantial amount of electricity.

For that reason, some countries have even issued bans or restrictions on the allowed electricity for miners, while others with low electricity costs are more welcoming. Unfortunately for some miners in Iran, it appears that they’ve overstayed their welcome.

Reports from Reuters on June 27th show that the authorities in Iran have seized 1,000 bitcoin mining machines, found within two abandoned factories. The seizure followed warnings that their work had increased the consumption of government-subsidized electricity by 7%, according to an Energy Ministry spokesman. Arash Navab, a power official in Yazd, told state television,

“Two of these bitcoin farms have been identified, with a consumption of one megawatt.”

The energy ministry added that the mining of cryptocurrency was responsible for causing the grid to be “unstable” and their work was “causing problems for other users.” Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, a spokesperson for the energy ministry, stated that the electricity used for mining Bitcoin would be equivalent to the energy needed to power 24 households all year long.

To try and remedy these issues, the Ministry of Energy has already submitted proposals that would ultimately implement a separate pricing structure for local businesses and individuals who mine.

The proposals are not in effect yet, and the only plan that Iran has in the meantime is to continue to be strict about cryptocurrency mining in their country.

Unfortunately, there are some Iranians trying to get around the rules, even using mosques as a location for Bitcoin mining. In Iran, the law allows mosques to have free electricity, and there have been unverified images showing up on Twitter lately that appear to show rows of mining rigs within one of these mosques.

Part of the reason that miners are gravitating towards the Iranian industry is based on the fact that they are one of the cheapest countries in the world to perform their work, as well as China.

Elite Fixtures recently performed a study last year, showing that the cost of mining a single Bitcoin in Iran was only $3,217, while the cost in China to mine one Bitcoin was $3,172.

bitcoin mining

The central bank of Iran decided to ban their local banks from being involved with cryptocurrencies at all in April 2018, according to reports from The Next Web’s Hard Fork. At the time, the central bank said their ban was due to concerns with money-laundering.

More recently, The Block reported that Iran plans to cut power as they detect more cryptocurrency miners in their country. In an official statement, Mashhadi told the public that it is illegal for cryptocurrency miners to use the national grid for their activities.

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