Iranian police have confiscated 7,000 cryptocurrency mining machines from an abandoned factory in western Tehran, the largest batch discovered in recent days, according to a report by state-owned news agency IRNA.

Fast facts: 

  • Police also said they had found around another 3,000 mining machines in Tehran in the past two days.
  • Outgoing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on May 26 announced a suspension of crypto mining operations that will continue until Sept. 22. The ban was imposed because of power shortages. Bloomberg reported that Tehran and other large cities have faced the threat of power outages several times a day over the past few months. The government attributed the problem to a drought and to the crypto mining industry.
  • On June 21, Iran’s only nuclear power plant was shut down, and on June 12, Iran began importing electricity from Azerbaijan.
  • Iranian authorities had already expressed intolerance toward the cryptocurrency industry. On June 21, Iran banned a blockchain association for violating regulations. On June 9, the country’s president called for the regulation of cryptocurrencies to reduce “significant risks.”
  • Cryptocurrency mining is legal in Iran, but requires a government business license. Yet as of last month, 85% of Iran’s miners were unauthorized, according to a Bloomberg report. According to data from blockchain analysis company Elliptic, between January and April, approximately 4.5% of global Bitcoin mining occurred in Iran.