Winter is Coming: Iran Temporary Halts Local Bitcoin Mining to Prevent Electricity Blackouts
The Iranian Ministry of Energy has ordered local authorized cryptocurrency miners to temporarily suspend their activities in the face of electricity shortages during the coldest months of the year. This is the second time authorities take measures of this kind as they did the same between May and September this year.
Same Ban, Different Season
After blaming BTC mining for electricity blackouts, the Iranian government placed a temporary ban at the end of May. The country’s officials claimed that its electricity network would fail to sustain the rush during the hottest period of the year and halted cryptocurrency mining operations until September 22nd (when the weather starts cooling off).
Three months later, the local Ministry of Energy implemented the same rules ahead of the winter season when the energy consumption rises to maximum levels again. In an interview for a local media, Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi – Chairman of Iran’s Grid Management Company (Tavanir) – said:
“The Energy Ministry has been implementing measures since last month to reduce the use of liquid fuels in power plants, including cutting licensed crypto farms’ power supply, turning off lampposts in less risky areas, and stringent supervision of consumption.”
The executive explained that the move is necessary because according to the forecast of the Meteorological Organization, the air temperature will start decreasing from this week. This would lead to a spike in electricity consumption and would disrupt the nation’s energy network.
The authorities were quite strict during the previous crackdown on cryptocurrency mining operations. In June, they confiscated about 7,000 cryptocurrency mining machines found in an abandoned factory in Iran’s capital – Tehran.
Mining Trends around The Globe
Iran has been among the global leaders in cryptocurrency mining, accounting for between 3% and 4% of the total hash rate on the network.
As of writing this, the United States of America is responsible for the majority of the hash rate with 35.4%. Next in line with 18.1% is Kazakhstan, while the Russian Federation (11.2%) and Canada (9.6%) follow on the next positions.
It is worth noting that this rating was highly affected by the total crypto ban which the People’s Republic of China imposed this summer. Prior to that, the most-populated country was the undisputed leader in terms of global hash rate.Source