Iran bans cryptocurrency mining for four months after blackouts

Iran has announced a four-month ban on the energy-consuming mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin after cities suffered unplanned blackouts, the BBC reports.

President Hassan Rouhani told a cabinet meeting the main cause of the blackouts was a drought that had affected hydro-electric power generation.

But he said cryptocurrency mining, 85% of which is unlicensed, was draining more than 2GW from the grid each day.

An estimated 4.5% of all Bitcoin mining takes place in Iran.

The national electricity company said on Saturday that licensed cryptocurrency mining facilities had already voluntarily shut down their operations to ease the burden.

But Mr Rouhani said on Wednesday that unlicensed facilities were using between six and seven times more power and that he therefore had to ban all cryptocurrency activities until 22 September.

The president also said the energy minister had been right to apologies to Iranians for the unplanned blackouts that affected businesses and households in Tehran and several other cities last week.

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