Iran halts authorized crypto mining to save energy for winter

Amid Iran’s energy consumption increasing during the winter, local energy authorities have decided to halt operations of authorized cryptocurrency mining centers.

Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, chairman of the board and managing director of Iran Grid Management Company (Tavanir), announced that Iran is shutting down crypto mining centers again to reduce liquid fuel consumption in power plants amid decreasing temperatures.

Mashhadi said that Iranian authorities took this action to reduce energy consumption last month, The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) reported on Dec. 25.

“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,” he said.

The executive emphasized the importance of saving energy in the country, calling on citizens to reduce their electricity and gas consumption as much as possible as well. According to local reports, 70% of the fuel consumed in Iran is used for heating buildings. The new energy-saving measures are reportedly expected to cut energy consumption by at least 40%.

While enforcing restrictions on authorized crypto mining operators, the Iranian government has also been working to combat illegal crypto miners. In late November, local energy authorities announced that they had in total seized 222,000 mining devices used for illicit mining crypto since the industry regulations were established.

Iran is one of the world’s biggest crypto mining countries, accounting for an estimated 4.5% to 7% of the global Bitcoin (BTC) hash rate. The country previously put a temporary blanket ban on crypto mining in summer, citing historically peak periods for power demand due to hot temperatures. The ban was subsequently lifted in September as the Iranian power grid became more stable.