Iran seizes 7,000 cryptocurrency computer miners

The country receives millions of dollars in revenue from Bitcoin mining

FILE PHOTO: A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph in this illustration taken January 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Iranian police have seized 7,000 computer miners at an illegal cryptocurrency farm, their largest haul to date of the energy-guzzling machines that have exacerbated power outages in Iran, state media reported on Tuesday.

In late May, Iran banned the mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for nearly four months as part of efforts to reduce the incidence of power blackouts blamed by officials on surging electricity demand during the hot and dry summer.

Tehran police chief General Hossein Rahimi said the 7,000 computer miners were seized in an abandoned factory in the west of the capital, the state news agency IRNA reported.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are created through a process known as mining, where powerful computers compete with each other to solve complex mathematical problems. The process is highly energy-intensive, often relying on electricity generated by fossil fuels, which are abundant in Iran.

According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, around 4.5 per cent of all Bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, giving it hundreds of million dollars in revenue from cryptocurrencies that can be used to lessen the impact of US sanctions.

Iran’s economy has been hit hard since 2018, when then-President Donald Trump exited Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

US President Joe Biden’s administration and other global powers are pursuing talks with Iran to revive the deal.

Iran has accepted cryptocurrency mining in recent years, offering cheap power and requiring miners to sell their Bitcoins to the central bank. Tehran allows cryptocurrencies mined in Iran to be used to pay for imports of authorised goods.

The prospect of cheap state-subsidised power has attracted miners, particularly from China, to Iran. Generating the electricity they use requires the equivalent of around 10 million barrels of crude oil a year, or 4 per cent of total Iranian oil exports in 2020, according to Elliptic.

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KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Healthcare spending to double to $2.2 trillion rupees

Launched a 641billion-rupee federal health scheme

Allotted 200 billion rupees for the recapitalisation of state-run banks

Around 1.75 trillion rupees allotted for privatisation and stake sales in state-owned assets

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