Iran’s state-owned electricity company has warned that illicit cryptocurrency miners in the country could cause further blackouts this winter.
Illegal cryptocurrency mining will account for at least “10% of power outages this winter,” the power company said in an Oct. 10 statement released by the state-run IRNA news agency.
Such illegal mining was responsible for 20 percent of power outages over the summer, the statement added.
Iranian officials have repeatedly criticized unlicensed cryptocurrency miners for using large amounts of electricity, draining the power grid and increasing air pollution levels in many cities.
Operations are a huge waste of energy as they use banks of powerful computers to attempt to unlock complex digital puzzles related to international financial transactions.
Iranian news agencies have reported frequent raids on “illegal farms” for cryptocurrency.
Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic estimates that around 4.5% of global bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, allowing the country to earn hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies that can be used to bypass cryptocurrency. US sanctions, which crippled the country’s economy.