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With crypto mining banned in Iran, local authorities seize 7K rigs

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Iranian provincial police are continuing their crackdown of crypto miners big and small with the news they have confiscated more than 7,000 rigs at a farm operating in the capital of Tehran.

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According to a Tuesday report from the country’s state-run media, the Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA, police seized the crypto miners operating out of an abandoned factory. Experts on the country’s electrical grid estimated that the miners operating at full capacity would amount to roughly 4% of the average daily energy consumption in Iran.

Tehran police chief General Hossein Rahimi said authorities had found another 3,000 crypto miners across the Iranian capital in the last 48 hours, with police raiding 50 locations. He added that the discovery of the 7,000-rig farm was the largest and most significant drain on the country’s energy usage so far.

The operation comes following Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announcing in May Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency mining in the country would be prohibited until September. The measures are aimed at ensuring Iranians have access to electricity during the summer.

Though the seizure of more than 7,000 miners may get more attention from authorities, the police are also cracking down on the little guys — miners operating illegally using their household’s electricity can potentially face large fines. A IRNA report today said that the police had found 4 miners at a Pakdasht home southeast of the capital. Authorities measured the power consumption of the household from the outside before inspecting it for mining rigs.

Related: Iranian Police Seize Batch of 117 Smuggled Crypto Mining Machines

Before the energy crisis in Iran led to the government cracking down on power-sucking miners, many in the country seemed to be more open to the crypto industry. In 2019, lawmakers gave the green light to crypto mining as an industrial activity, requiring miners to be licensed and regulated. However, any use of the country’s electrical grid has come under scrutiny as Iran faces blackouts and brownouts, and miners are often the target.

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