Block reward miners in Iran have been ordered to halt all digital currency mining activities, as the government acts in response to sweeping power outages across the country.
The instruction came from first vice president of Iran Eshaq Jahangiri, who said all of the country’s licensed mining companies should halt production. It comes against the backdrop of ongoing restrictions on electricity supply in the country, in part driven by the resource intensive crypto mining sector there.
The energy restrictions are expected to remain in place until August, which coincides with the timeline set out by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for banning unlicensed digital currency mining in the country to avoid further blackouts.
Jahangiri spoke equivocally in instructing mining firms not to contribute further to the energy supply problems plaguing residents and businesses across Iran.
“We will ensure that the electricity will not be cut off in essential and important places. Licensed miners must also stop production altogether.”
Digital currency mining was made legal in Iran back in 2019, with a licensing and regulatory regime in place to structure the industry, and to allow the government to control activity in the sector. However, recent months have seen the growth of digital currency mining companies, and in particular unregulated home mining, putting national infrastructure under significant strain.
As a result, some unlicensed mining operations have been closed in recent weeks, with law enforcement agencies finding setups with as many as 7,000 mining rigs operating illegally via domestic electricity supplies.
Even the country’s labor minister, Mohammad Shariatmadari, has been subject to power outages at home, on account of illicit digital currency mining activities going on in the country.
The ban will come as a further blow to miners operating in Iran, at a time of increasingly stringent regulation for miners across the world.
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