Iran to allow crypto mining in September after blackout ban

Iran to allow crypto mining in September after blackout ban
Crypto mining will be allowed to continue in Iran after the country suffered major power cuts due to strains on power grids.
2 min read
23 August, 2021
Iran has been plagued by power outages this summer [Getty]

Iran's four-month-long ban on cryptocurrency mining will be lifted in September, a state electricity company reportedly announced this weekend.

The Iran Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Company (Tavanir) banned cryptocurrency mining in May, in a bid to lessen the use of limited electricity supplies.

The government had blamed the mining, as well as an exceptionally hot summer, for unplanned blackouts this summer, which have affected homes, businesses, and public services. 

Tavanir announced that the ban would be lifted on 22 September, Iranian English-language news site Financial Tribune reported on Saturday.

Cryptocurrency mining is where large amounts of computer power are used to solve unique equations and produce cryptocurrencies, of which the most popular type is bitcoin.

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Iran has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from cryptocurrency mining as it has allowed the country to bypass US sanctions reinstated in 2018 by then-president Donald Trump. 

Roughly 4.5 percent of global cryptocurrency mining occurs in Iran, according to blockchain analytics provider Elliptic.

In 2019, the Iranian government imposed a licensing on all crypto mining and assets where miners must pay higher electricity tax, be identified as miners, as well as sell their mined cryptocurrency to Iran's central bank. 

Authorities have shut down many illegal miners - including those found mining in mosques, where electricity consumption is free. 

Still, only a fraction of the crypto mining occurring in Iran is authorised by the government. 

This summer's power outages in Iran sparked widespread protests.