Iran cuts off electricity to authorized crypto diggers: report – TechCrunch

His connection to the crypto-digging sector is love-hate. The government is again restricting cryptocurrency mining as it seeks to ease tensions over the country’s power supply, although it knows the promise of cryptocurrency as a way to avoid international sanctions.

Electricity for all 118 government-authorized mining operators in Iran will be cut off from June 22 ahead of seasonal spikes in electricity demand, said Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, a spokesman for Iran’s energy industry, in an interview with state television, according to Bloomberg. report.

Bitcoin has long been considered and used as a way to circumvent trade embargoes for countries. Iran is under broad sanctions from the United States, which effectively barred him from accessing the international financial system.

In 2019, Iran officially recognized the crypto mining industry and began issuing licenses to miners who are required to pay higher electricity prices and sell their digged bitcoins to the Central Bank of Iran.

But the country has also repeatedly halted operations at cryptocurrency centers. The government ordered two stops to ease the pressure on its energy infrastructure last year, during which the demand for electricity reached a record high.

Cryptocurrency mining flourished in Iran before the bans. The blockchain analysis company Elliptic rated in May last year, that 4.5% of all bitcoin mining occurred in the country. This ratio decreased to 0.12% by January, According to The Center for Alternative Funding in Cambridge (CCAF).

Miners in other countries have shown disobedience to regulators. The hash rate of cryptocurrency, which measures the computing power used by cryptocurrencies to prove working like bitcoin, fell to zero in China between last July and August after the country cracked down on cryptocurrency mining.

But the industry seems to be reviving quickly. In September, China accounted for 30% of the world’s crypto hash rate, and in January this ratio was nearly 40%, second only to the United States, according to the CCAF.

The recovery has shown that underground mining may be under way in China, where cryptocurrency trading is also banned. “Access to electricity outside the grid and geographically dispersed small-scale operations are among the main means used by underground miners to hide their operations from the authorities and circumvent the ban,” the CCAF said in a statement. analysis.

The sudden drop and resumption of hashrate in China further suggests that its diggers may have worked secretly immediately after the ban, redirecting their data through proxy services, the CCAF said. Over time and the introduction of the regulation, they may have become less cautious about hiding their locations.

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