Iran has directed all authorised Bitcoin mining facilities to immediately halt operations in order to cut down pressure on the electricity supply. Iran has announced a three-month ban on the functioning of Bitcoin mining centres. To mine a Bitcoin token, one has to solve complex proof of work algorithms on advanced computers. Since these machines are required to be plugged in at all times, they gobble up loads of electricity, and can disrupt the overall power supply in a region.
Mostapha Rajani Mashhadi, the director of Iran Grid Management, made the announcement, aiming to free up power up to 209 megawatts and distribute it among Iranian establishments for the winter, Zycrypto reported.
The ban will continue till March 6, 2022.
The authorities of Iran will also be cracking down on illegal Bitcoin mining centres that use over 600 megawatts of electricity, which should otherwise reach the inhabitants of the country.
This is not the first time that Iranian authorities have identified the stress of Bitcoin mining on its power grid.
In May 2021 as well, Iran had implemented a four-month ban on Bitcoin mining that was reportedly causing power outages in several parts of the nation.
As per Cambridge researchers, the mining of Bitcoin consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy a year.
Between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018, the mining operations for four major cryptocurrencies released up to an estimated 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a research report had claimed last year.
The massive electricity consuming nature of the crypto mining process has stirred concerns in several parts of the world.
Recently, crypto miners were blamed for over-using electricity and causing power outages in the Irkutsk region of eastern Russia. The authorities there revealed that electricity consumption in the region grew by 108 percent last year with many residents indulging in mining from homes, balconies, and garages.
“A lot of South China right now is having random power outages because the power demand is higher than expected. Crypto mining might be playing a role in that,” Musk had said at the time.
In November 2021, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) had estimated a fivefold increment in energy loads to support crypto mining and data centres.
Some regions are trying to come up with eco-friendly ways to facilitate crypto mining, amid the global expansion of the overall crypto sector.
In September 2021, Francis Suarez, the mayor of US’ Miami town proposed setting up a Bitcoin-mining facility near a nuclear power plant in Florida state.
A volcanic geo-thermal-powered Bitcoin mining facility is also being built in the central American country of El Salvador to fuel mining via renewable energy.