Iran’s Vice President Orders Licensed Crypto Miners To Suspend Operations
As Iran’s electricity disruptions continue, the country's Vice President has now charged all Bitcoin miners to stop operations altogether.
Electricity Crisis May Continue Until August
The Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, said that the current electricity situation for Iranians is likely to continue until early August.
Jahangiri made this known in a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Energy according to a local news outlet, Tasnim News Agency.
Jahangiri said the Iranian government is working on improving the power issues to reduce the blackouts in the country.
“We will ensure that the electricity will not be cut off in essential and important places; licensed miners must also stop production altogether.”
He added that increasing electricity production is not the solution due to its feasibility. The VP believes it's impossible because the country's power plants were already working at full capacity.
Jahangiri’s comments come after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani apologized to citizens for the frequent blackouts caused by the electricity issues. This came after videos went viral on social media of citizens staging protests in multiple cities.
Rouhani blamed the blackouts on cryptocurrency mining and technical faults in Iran's sole nuclear reactor.
Citizens continue to complain about power outages, including the country’s minister of cooperatives, labor, and social welfare, Mohammad Shariatmadari. The minister had also reported electrical disruptions to his home on Tuesday.
Iran’s Crackdown On Crypto Miners
In May, the Iranian president banned crypto mining operations until September in a bid to conserve power and relieve the national power grid.
Although crypto mining has been legal in the country since 2019, miners in the country were required to be licensed in order to operate. However, many miners have been operating illegally.
The Iranian authorities had warned illegal crypto miners using household energy to power rigs to stop or risk paying fines or having their equipment seized.
So far, many machines have already been seized. Last month, the Iranian police seized 7,000 computer miners at an illegal cryptocurrency farm. Also, in June, the authorities confiscated more than 3,000 unauthorized crypto mining hardware.
The Central Bank of Iran has previously moved to ban trading or the use of payments with cryptocurrencies that were not mined in Iran.
The latest crackdown on cryptocurrencies by the Iranian government came last week through a proposed bill. The Iranian Parliament Commission on Economy proposed a bill that stipulates that the Iranian central bank would be in charge of cryptocurrencies in the country.
The bill also stated that crypto mining would officially be placed under the regulatory purview of the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade.