Iran is facing energy crisis and high level of air pollution because of growing demand for cryptocurrency mining
Faced with public outcry over chronic power cuts and rising pollution, Iranian officials have targeted energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining farms.
Cryptocurrency miners in Iran say they are being scapegoated for power outages and pollution.
Iran’s active mining of cryptocurrencies has led to an energy collapse. Power plants are running out of gas and some have switched to fuel oil. The Iranian capital is covered in smog because of this. The country’s authorities have already confiscated around 45 000 cryptocurrency mining rigs.
According to the country’s largest newspaper, Hamshahri, there is an energy crisis in Iran. One of its main causes is active mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which have been rising in price in recent months. Due to increased electricity consumption and the cold winter, power plants are running out of gas. Some have continued to operate by switching to fuel oil. The Iranian capital is said to be smogged by power plant smoke.
The country’s authorities deny using fuel oil, but acknowledge the dangerously high level of air pollution. Other power plants have simply shut down — which, in turn, has led to power cuts in the country. Speaking to journalists, Iranian officials directly attribute the outages to active cryptocurrency mining.
According to Tasmin News Agency, Iranian authorities have seized some 45 000 cryptocurrency mining rigs as part of an operation to combat illegal consumption of subsidised electricity. The authorities have also suspended the operation of several authorised mining farms.
Authorities said the mining farms, with a total consumption of 600 MW, were shut down to help the power companies cope with the growing demand for electricity at a time of peak consumption, which is exacerbated by pandemic-related government orders to restrict the movement of citizens.
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