Iran Blames Bitcoin Miners for Unstable Power Grid

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Iran Blames Bitcoin Miners for Unstable Power Grid

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Local Iranian media are carrying reports that say the state is putting the blame squarely on Bitcoin miners for causing an unstable condition for national power grids, as the surge in electricity usage is currently unsustainable.

Energy Ministry spokesperson Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi was quoted as saying that a 7% spike in power usage just in the past month has not gone unnoticed, warning:

“A bulk of that unusual increase is because of the activity of bitcoin miners… making the grid unstable and causing problem for other users.”

He went on to say that crypto used large amount of electricity because of the way they were set up, with the network incentivizing people to provide computing power to solve increasingly complex cryptographic puzzles in order to find new blocks and add verified transactions. The more difficult the complexity of the network, the more computing power is needed to solve these puzzles, and the more secure the network becomes (as the more difficult it is to obtain enough computing resources to try and hijack the network via a 51% attack).

This entire process is known commonly as mining, and Bitcoin mining has never been more complex, with each year since its existence over 10 years ago adding to the amount of electricity consumed to power highly specialized mining rigs.

Reportedly, each Bitcoin mined in Iran uses the same power as 24 Iranian households do over an entire year.

The state believes that most miners are now operating from factories, agricultural sites, government offices and mosques — which all run on subsidized energy. Supposedly, investors from nearby Armenia but as far away as France and Ukraine are now investing in the local mining industry.

Iran spends about USD 1 billion annually on electricity subsidies so it may want to crack down as economic sanctions bite deep. Mashhadi has promised:

“Bitcoin miners will be identified and their electricity will be cut.”

 

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