Iranian authorities confiscate 7,000 rigs following a ban on BTC mining

By: Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Sweden. She loves everything positive, travelling, and extracting joy and… read more.
on Jun 23, 2021
Updated: Jun 24, 2021
  • The BTC mining rigs were discovered in an abandoned factory west of Tehran.
  • The country banned crypto mining for four months in May, citing energy scarcity.
  • While Iran is clamping down on crypto mining, Miami and Texas are wooing miners.

Iranian authorities have seized 7,000 Bitcoin (BTC/USD) mining rigs after raiding an illegal crypto farm. A report unveiled this news on June 22, noting that this is the largest number of miners that the police have seized to date. Reportedly, the country’s decision to crack down on illegal BTC mining comes in response to increasing power outages caused by energy scarcity.

According to the Tehran chief of police, General Hossein Rahimi, police officers discovered the 7,000 mining rigs at an abandoned factory in the west of the capital. The raid comes after Iran banned BTC mining for four months in May this year. At the time, the country’s President, Hassan Rouhani said the activity was consuming over 2GW of power daily, and that 85% of the mining operations in the country were unlicensed.

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With this raid, BTC hashrate is set to take a slight dip, seeing as Iran accounted for up to 4.5% of mining. While BTC has not been affected by this raid, the country is working hard to cripple the only sector that can help it circumvent US sanctions. Ever since the former US President, Donald Trump, exited a massive nuclear deal with the country and reimposed sanctions in 2018, the country’s economy took a big blow.

Energy concerns over BTC mining loom

This news comes as different people continue voicing concerns over the amount of energy that Bitcoin mining consumes. Per estimates from Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance, the global Bitcoin network consumes more energy than all of Finland.

Apart from this data, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk recently said the electric vehicle maker had stopped accepting BTC payments until BTC miners can find more sustainable energy alternatives. China then decided to clamp down on BTC mining, forcing the regions of Sichuan and Xinjiang, Mongolia, Qinghai, and Yunnan to issue notices to miners, directing them to shut down their operations.

As a result, BTC’s hashrate plunged significantly, pushing the coin below the $30,000 (£21,446.25) level to trade as low as $28,893.62 (£20,655.33) yesterday. While BTC has managed to recover this loss, it still has a long way to go before it revisits its all-time high (ATH) at $64,863.10 (£46,370.31). However, not everyone is concerned about BTC’s energy consumption. For instance, Francis Suarez, Miami’s mayor, is offering Chinese crypto miners solace in the city, seeing as it has an unlimited supply of nuclear power. Apart from Miami, Texas is also looking to let the miners tap into its cheap energy sources.

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