Iranian police have seized 7000 cryptocurrency computer miners at illegal cryptocurrency farms, according to a report from Reuters. The largest haul to date of the energy-guzzling machines that have exacerbated power outages in Iran.
This comes less than a month after Iran banned mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for nearly four months. Officials blamed surging demand for electricity during hot and dry summers for power blackouts. They imposed a ban on mining to reduce these blackout incidences.
According to Tehran police chief General Hossein Rahimi said “7000 computer miners were seized in an abandoned factory west of capital,” the state news agency IRNA reported.
The blockchain analytics firm Elliptic around 4.5% of all bitcoin mining takes place in Iran. This supply of cheap electricity attracted many crypto miners.
President Donald Trump in 2015 exited Tehran nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic republic.
According to Elliptic, the electricity they use requires around ten million barrels of crude oil a year. The possibility of modest state-financed power has drawn in miners, especially from China to Iran.