In recent weeks, several cities in Iran, including the capital, Tehran, have been plunged into darkness and millions have been left without electricity for hours.
As a result, traffic signals were cut off, offices were plunged into darkness and online classes were shut down, according to a report in the Associated Press on Saturday.
While Tehran’s skies are engulfed in toxic smog and the country is plagued by epidemics and other growing crises, the market for rumors has heated up on social media. Fingers were soon pointed at an unsuspecting criminal, Bitcoin.
Within days of growing public outrage, the government launched a large-scale crackdown on bitcoin processing centers.
These centers require a lot of electricity to run and cool their specific computers, which is a burden on Iran’s power grid.
Authorities have closed 1,600 centers across the country. For the first time, centers that are legally allowed to operate have also been closed.
The government’s recent controversial move has left the crypto industry in a quandary and it is feared that bitcoin has become a useful scapegoat for the nation’s long-standing problems.
The withdrawal of the nuclear deal with the United States in 2018 and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran have increased the popularity of the corrupt currency in the country.
For Iran, anonymous transactions through cryptocurrency allow individuals and companies to bypass banking restrictions. These sanctions have brought the country’s economy to its knees.
“Iranians know the value of this cross-border network more than anyone else because we do not have access to any kind of global payment network,” said Zia Sadr, a bitcoin expert in Tehran. The bitcoin shines here.