Iran seizes 7,000 crypto miners due to pressure on Bitcoin energy

According to a report by the state-controlled IRNA news agency, Iranian police confiscated 7,000 cryptocurrency mining computers in an abandoned factory in Tehran. Iran banned Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency mining in late May, citing concerns about the industry's massive energy costs. Most popular blockchains add new data to their ledgers through a proof-of-work consensus mechanism – a process that eliminates the need for a centralized agent (like a single manager or bank) but computers on the network. According to estimates by the Cambridge University Center for Alternative Finance, the computer network behind the Bitcoin blockchain consumes more energy than the whole of Finland. The ban will last four months and is part of a broader effort to free up electricity and prevent nationwide blackouts. Iran's easy access to oil has made it a major player in the global crypto mining industry in recent years. (Mining companies tend to look for the cheapest sources of electricity for computer "rigs", which is why China's coal-heavy power grid has historically been very dominant.) A recent report from blockchain data company Elliptic states 4.5 percent of all Bitcoin mining before the ban. It took place in Iran. China has also taken steps to reduce the presence of the crypto mining industry in provinces such as Sichuan, Qinghai and Inner Mongolia as a way to reduce carbon emissions. The Hard Truth About Bitcoin's Energy Consumption Texas, meanwhile, welcomes crypto with open arms.

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