Police in Iran have reportedly seized 45,000 bitcoin mining rigs for illegally using subsidized electricity from the state-owned power utility Tavanir, the local Tasmin News Agency reported this week.
According to Mohammad Hassan Motavalizadeh, head of Tavanir, the efficient application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) bitcoin miners had been consuming 95 megawatts (MW) per hour of electricity at cheaper prices.
Authorized miners are charged around 4,800 rials ($0.11) per kilowatt-hour in autumn, winter and spring, says the Iranian Energy Ministry. Subsidized rates may be half as much.
Since 2019, when crypto mining became legal in Iran, the Islamic Republic has shut down 1,620 unauthorized mining farms, local media reported earlier this month. The farms consumed 250MW of electricity, it said.
Now, the Middle East country is currently facing severe power shortages due to rising winter demand, with rolling blackouts across major cities. The government decided to blame bitcoin (BTC) mining for the…