Iranian authorities blame a new culprit for the massive power outages and severe smoke in major cities this winter: illegal cryptocurrency mining.
In recent weeks, air pollution in Tehran, the capital of Iran, and other metropolitan areas has reached dangerous levels, while residents have reported widespread power outages.
Winter low temperatures increase household heating demand, causing a shortage of natural gas and forcing power plants to burn low-grade fuel oil, exacerbating pollution, according to the Iranian Student News Agency.
But according to IPR, President Rouhani has instructed the national security agency to “strike” another energy-intensive industry: illegal Bitcoin mining.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin rely on decentralized transaction registrations, which are verified by miners solving complex computing problems to earn new Bitcoin blocks.
This process requires a lot of electricity consumption, and large-scale mining can only be economically meaningful where energy is cheap.