Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday announced a four-month ban on all cryptocurrency mining, citing widespread power outages that have hamstrung the Islamic Republic earlier than usual this year.
“Today everybody has a few miners laying around and are producing bitcoins,” the frustrated Rouhani told his cabinet. The practice of “mining” bitcoin and other crypto tokens involves large banks of computers conducting endless taxing calculations, consuming massive amounts of energy.
Iran’s illegal crypto operations are believed to have reached nearly 10 times the size of permitted facilities in recent years.
The government and the public blame sporadic electricity shortages, which have plagued the country during past summers but have arrived early in 2021, on cryptocurrency enthusiasts, though some experts dispute this assertion. Nearly 5% of all global bitcoin mining today occurs in Iran.