Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on 26 May announced a ban on cryptocurrency mining “effective immediately” to last until 22 September. The country is facing recurring blackouts that have been partly attributed to the widespread ‘mining’ of digital currencies, which require the running of power-intensive computer programs to solve complex mathematical algorithms.

While media attention has focused on cryptocurrency mining, the blackouts have also been attributed to drought, which has cut Iran’s hydroelectricity production by 50%. Officials said that mining consumes 209MW of electricity, while Iranian media estimates have put the figure as high as 2GW given that 85% of the country’s miners are unlicensed. State power firm Tavanir in January put the figure at 500-600MW. (CONTINUED - 343 WORDS)