Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The Iranian authorities have ordered a temporary suspension of the activities of a large cryptocurrency mining factory in the southeast of the country, in light of a significant increase in the demand for electricity in the country, which led to power cuts in the capital, Tehran and other major cities. The official “Press TV” channel reported.
Press TV quoted the state-owned Iranian Electricity Company (Tavanir), on Wednesday, as saying that all cryptocurrency mining farms, including a major unit in Rafsanjan city run by a Sino-Iranian investment company, have been stopped to prevent further power outages in major cities.
The vice president of the Electricity Company, Ghulam Ali Rakhshanimhr, stated that the cryptocurrency farm in Rafsanjan was operating legally by paying a higher price for the electricity it uses to mine digital currencies.
The electricity company announcement came after a video clip that spread virally on social media showed internal scenes of a currency mining factory in Rafsanjan, where a Chinese employee talks about tens of thousands of mining machines operating at the facility.
Local authorities in Kerman province said the farm was consuming 175 megawatt hours of electricity, out of a total of 600 megawatt hours currently allocated to cryptocurrency mining farms in Iran, according to Press TV.
The channel reported that the general use of electricity in Iran has reached a new record in recent days, by exceeding 41,000 megawatts in peak consumption hours.
And last week, Energy Ministry officials said they would continue to provide electricity to Bitcoin farm workers to comply with their contractual obligations.
They said that Iranian power plants have the ability to respond to the growing domestic demand for electricity, in addition to urging families to reduce gas use to prevent stopping operations at power plants.
Press TV indicated that Internet IP addresses registered in Iran account for 8% of the total Bitcoin coins mined worldwide in early summer, although the number fell to 3.8%, after the authorities launched a quick crackdown on the use of subsidized electricity to mine Cryptocurrencies.
And earlier this week, the government offered up to 200 million riyals ($ 800) for any information about the illegal use of electricity to mine Bitcoin.