Iran suspends licensed cryptomining for 2 weeks to save power

Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) has ordered licensed cryptocurrency mining farms to halt operations for two weeks to lessen power shortages across the country.

19 January 2021
ID : 22723
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Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) has ordered licensed cryptocurrency mining farms to halt operations for two weeks to lessen power shortages across the country. 

Mohammad Hassan Motevalizadeh, the company managing director, made the announcement in an interview with IRNA adding that cryptomining farms consume 500-600 megawatts of electricity, half of which are unauthorized.

The utility is working to shut down illegal mining farms, he said. Those who illegally use subsidized power will be fined depending on losses they inflict on the national grid. "Their mining places will by disconnected from the national grid and wrongdoers face prosecution."  

The largest licensed cryptomining farm in Iran is in Rafsanjan City in southern Kerman Province. "This center has also stopped operation for two weeks to help support the national power grid."

In the past several days rising home gas consumption disrupted gas supply as feedstock to power plants declined, forcing utilities to use mazut, a highly polluting and low quality fuel oil. That caused unprecedented air pollution in big cities, obliging power plants to resort to mazut and announce rolling blackouts. Tavanir said the widespread power outages in the capital was due to cuts in feedstock deliveries to power stations.

Motevalizadeh on Wednesday blamed cryptomining as one of the reasons that led to the power shortages unseen in recent memory. The steep rise in the price of cryptocurrencies in recent weeks apparently made mining more tempting for Iranians.

The power company has launched a nationwide program from Thursday to detect illegal electricity subscriptions and unauthorized crypto miners.  

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