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Police in Iran have reportedly seized 45,000 bitcoin mining platforms for illegally using subsidized electricity from state-owned Tavanir, the local Tasmin News Agency reported this week..

According to Mohammad Hassan Motavalizadeh, head of Tavanir, said the efficient application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) bitcoin miners had consumed 95 megawatts (MW) of electricity per hour at lower prices.

Authorized miners pay about 4,800 rials ($ 0.11) per kilowatt-hour in the fall, winter and spring, Iran’s energy ministry says. The subsidized rates can be half.

Since 2019, when crypto mining became legal in Iran, the Islamic Republic has done so shut down 1,620 unauthorized mining companies, local media reported earlier this month. The farms used 250 MW of electricity, he said.

Now, the Middle Eastern country is currently facing severe power shortages due to rising winter demand, with continuous power outages in major cities. The government decided to blame bitcoin (BTC) mining for the plight.

As a result, the Iranian Ministry of Energy has temporarily halted the supply of 600 MW of power to all authorized persons BTC miners in the country, diverting the energy to domestic use.

According to the Tasmin News Agency report, authorities have also halted production on a massive mining operation in southwestern Iran. The facility is owned by a Sino-Iranian investment company and reportedly uses “tens of thousands” of ASIC miners to extract bitcoin.

Some cryptocurrency researchers have argued that while miners are targeted, they were not responsible for the current blackouts. Ziya Sadr told the Washington Post that bitcoin mining makes up a very small part of Iran’s national electricity consumption, where demand peaks at 40,000 MW in winter.

What do you think about the Iranian government’s seizure of bitcoin equipment? Let us know in the comments below.

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