Bitcoin miners have been on the hot seat this year. The market recently reacted to the Chinese government cracking down on mining activities with investors rolling out cash from the Bitcoin market. The unrest seems to be far from over as the Iranian government has also clamped down on cryptocurrency activities in the country. According to a report from Bloomberg, Bitcoin mining has been suspended till September of this year.
The President of Iran made the ban effective on national television today. It may seem as though Iranian businesses are in danger as mining activities surges, causing total blackouts from time to time. Officials in the country have also cited the decrease in the supply of hydroelectricity.
While China is responsible for nearly 70% of Bitcoin mining activities, Iran is far behind, as it houses around 3.4% of Bitcoin mining. However, the level of illegal mining in the country has surged this year, with over 80% of mining activities taking place without government license and regulation. In a bid to put an end to this, the Iranian government has reportedly begun to send out undercover officials to monitor and report cases of illegal mining as well as hidden locations where computers and other mining equipment may be tossed into.
A grid operator revealed that only 50 mining centers have been licensed by the government. Out of 31 provinces, these centers occupy 14 and use as much as 209 megawatts of electricity.
The ban comes in not long after it was rumored that the Chinese government was ready to halt Bitcoin mining in the country. The news sent shock waves to the cryptocurrency community and the already struggling market continued to tank as investors once again hurried to safeguard their coins. The result of Iran’s ban is yet to be reflected in the cryptocurrency market at this time. However, it is likely that the ban will not result in a bleeding market, at least not in the way that the Chinese report affected the market, seeing as Iran is only contributing a small fraction of energy compared to China.
Regardless of how the market responds going forward, key players like Elon Musk have now been invested in the business of restoring balance to the Bitcoin mining industry. As the CEO said in a recent tweet:
“Spoke with North American Bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current & planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW to do so. Potentially promising.”