According to the Tasmin News Agency report, Iranian authorities reportedly seized 45,000 crypto mining rigs for illegally using subsidized electricity from the state-owned power utility Tavanir. According to Mohammad Hassan Motavalizadeh, head of Tavanir, the efficient application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) bitcoin miners had been consuming 95 megawatts (MW) per hour of electricity at cheaper prices. Authorized miners are charged around 4,800 rials ($0.11) per kilowatt-hour in autumn, winter and spring, says the Iranian Energy Ministry. And subsidized rates maybe half as much.
Iran faces severe power shortages.
Crypto mining became legal in Iran, and since then, the Islamic Republic has shut down 1,620 unauthorized mining farms, local media reported earlier this month. The farms consumed 250MW of electricity, it said. The Middle East country is currently facing severe power shortages due to rising winter demand, with rolling blackouts across major cities. The government decided to blame bitcoin mining for the dire situation. Iran’s Energy Ministry has now temporarily cut the supply of 600MW of power to all authorized BTC miners, redirecting the energy to household use.
Crypto miners are blamed for power shortage.
According to the news report, Iranian authorities also halt production at a vast mining operation in the southwest of Iran. The facility is owned by a Chinese-Iranian investment company and is reportedly using “tens of thousands” of ASIC miners to extract bitcoin. Some from the crypto community have argued that although miners are being targeted, they were not responsible for the current blackouts. Ziya Sadr told the Washington Post that crypto mining accounts for a very small share of the national electricity consumption total in Iran, where demand peaks at 40,000MW in winter. Crypto miners are currently making heavy profits, and demand for bitcoin mining has also increased given the winning rally of the leading cryptocurrency.