Iran to cut power to legal miners en bloc from July
The Iranian government has said it will cut off supply to all licensed block reward miners in the country from July. The move is in anticipation of an electricity deficit as the country approaches the peak summer season.
In an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Public Radio (IRIB), Iranian Energy Ministry spokesman Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi said that Iran had already recorded record electricity consumption. . Consumption forecasts in the coming weeks highlight the need to limit the supply of electricity.
“Last week, the country’s electricity consumption recorded an all-time high of 62,500 megawatts (MW) during peak consumption, which is a significant figure. According to forecasts, this week’s consumption need will exceed 63,000 MW, which means that we have to limit the supply of electricity,” he said.
He added that all 118 registered block reward mining complexes in the country must suspend their connection to the network. Mashhadi is the director of the Iran Grid Management Company (also called Tavanir) and spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy.
Iran implemented a similar directive last December as the peak winter season approached, leading to an increase in household electricity demand. Iran is struggling to invest in improving its power generation due to the international sanctions it faces.
Iran Faces Challenges From Illegal Block Reward Miners
Due to its heavily subsidized electricity tariff, Iran remains an attractive location for block reward miners. The Middle Eastern country currently accounts for 0.12% of the Bitcoin network’s hash rate, according to data from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance.
Cheap electricity in Iran has also attracted illegal miners who use subsidized electricity without proper registration. Iran Power Generation Distribution and Transmission has proposed imposing new penalties on these illegal miners.
The proposal includes exorbitant fines, jail time, revocation of business license and confiscation of assets. The applicable fines must be multiplied by a minimum of three and a maximum of five. The country is also offering a $1,000 bounty for exposing illegal bulk reward mining operations.
All of Iran’s efforts to curb illegal block-reward mining operations have led to the shutdown of more than 7,000 such rigs since 2020, according to a count by Business Insider. It is estimated that these illegal mining operations consumed more than 645 MW of electricity, an amount equal to the annual consumption of three regions of the country.
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