Iran has already accounted for 3.4% of Bitcoin’s global mining power
Iran followed in China’s footsteps by moving to ban the mining of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the country. This occurs after a series of blackouts in the main cities of the country, in the latest sign of growing concern about the use of energy from the main digital asset.
The ban takes effect immediately and it will last until September 22, President Hassan Rouhani told state TV on Wednesday.
This follows a regional ban by the biggest Bitcoin miner, China, and electric car maker Tesla, in a decision to stop selling cars to anyone who wanted to pay with BTC. Both cited environmental concerns, causing a drop in Bitcoin’s value from the April record of $ 64,863.10.
Iranian authorities blame the increase in cryptocurrency mining, as well as the increase in manufacturing and a drop in the supply of hydroelectricity for the blackouts that are wreaking havoc on businesses and daily life.
The government had previously suppressed 85% of unlicensed mining, through enlisted spies to locate miners who hide computers everywhere, from homes to mosques. Subsidized energy prices allow miners to operate the complex computers that compete to solve mathematical problems and receive Bitcoin as a reward.
Cambridge University estimates that Iran was home to 3.4% of Bitcoin mining in the first four months of 2020, placing it in sixth place globally, with China well ahead of 69.3%. Another estimate by analytics firm Elliptic puts the Islamic Republic’s share at more than a percentage point.
Bitcoin is currently trading at $ 39,450, up 5.62% in the past 24 hours.