Iranian government officials have seized about 1,000 computers used for SegWitCoin (BTC) mining according to reports on state TV. This comes on the heels of the concerns related to increased power usage allegedly related to these operations.
The drain on the Iranian power circuit has been a serious concern, according to an Iranian energy official. According to Homayoun Haeri, those involved in crypto mining have been using as much power as 24 households. This has led to a 7% increase in the overall use of electricity during the month of June alone.
As part of a method to reduce the amount of electricity being used within the country, crypto mining has been banned in most forms. However, according to the report, government authorities discovered that two bitcoin farms were operating in an abandoned factory in the Yazd province.
This step to ban crypto mining went far beyond power concerns, however. There have been concerns related to money laundering and, coupled with an unstable power grid, the industry simply could not be allowed.
According to government officials, Iran will be shutting off all power to crypto mining operations until further notice. Mostafa RajabiMashhadi explained that those who have been identified as miners have had their power shut off.
However, this has not stopped some from continuing the activity. Many are looking for secluded locations that afford them the opportunity to continue operations. With government crackdowns on those using excessive amounts of energy, many of the BTC miners in the country were moving into mosques to try to avoid government detection. It is suspected that over 100 of these crypto miners are now working in places of worship, generating as much as $260,000 a year.
They are hoping they will go undetected, but the seizure of the computers will likely be a sign to crypto miners that it will be difficult to continue operations without coming under the detection of the national government.
It’s the amount of energy needed to perform these operations that will likely get them discovered. It is what led to the arrests in this case. “Two of these bitcoin farms have been identified, with a consumption of one megawatt,” Arash Navab, a power official in the central province of Yazd, told the television.
With U.S. sanctions in place, many services within Iran have been limited. Power is one such resource, and crypto mining is seen as a luxury that the country simply can’t afford.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.