Iran's cryptocurrency miners are expected to be allowed to resume operations on September 22, the Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) told The Financial Tribune, as demand on the country's power grid falls.
The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade temporarily banned cryptocurrency mining earlier this year because it was concerned the energy-intensive process might lead to blackouts as overall power consumption rose in the summer months.
The Financial Tribune reported that Iran only plans to lift the ban for the 30 licensed mining operations in the country. As a result, other miners could still face legal repercussions for operating without having the appropriate license or paying the required taxes.
But that doesn't appear to be much of a deterrent. The Financial Tribune said, "unlicensed miners use almost 2,000-3,000 MW a day, as much as half the total daily power consumption in Tehran City," and "damage the power distribution systems."
Tavanir reportedly said that unlicensed miners have caused approximately $4.26 billion (180 trillion rials) in damage to its equipment and that it's helped the Iranian government seize 212,373 mining rigs over the last 12 months.
Iran isn't the only country worried about the power consumption of cryptocurrency mining operations. China has cited its push to reduce its environmental impact as part of the reason why it's shut down cryptocurrency mines, for example, and groups in the U.S. have also raised concerns about mining's energy usage.
Nor is it the only country destroying mining equipment to combat unlicensed mining: Malaysian police steamrolled $1.6 million worth of Bitcoin mining rigs in July because their owners were stealing electricity to power their operations.