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Iran bans cryptocurrency mining for 4 months amid power cuts

“The ban on the mining of cryptocurrencies is effective immediately until September 22 … Some 85% of the current mining in Iran is unlicensed,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech

(Asian News Hub) – Iran has banned the energy-intensive mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for nearly 4 months, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, as the country faces major power blackouts in many cities.

“The ban on the mining of cryptocurrencies is effective immediately until September 22 … Some 85% of the current mining in Iran is unlicensed,” Rouhani said in a televised speech at a cabinet meeting.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are created through a process known as mining, where powerful computers compete with each other to solve complex mathematical problems. The process is highly energy intensive, often relying on electricity generated by fossil fuels, which Iran is rich in.

As next month’s presidential election approaches, the blackouts have been widely criticised by Iranians. The government has blamed the power cuts on cryptocurrency mining, drought and surging electricity demand in summer.

According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, around 4.5 percent of all Bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, allowing it to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from cryptocurrencies that can be used to lessen the impact of US sanctions.

Iran’s economy has been hit hard since 2018, when former President Donald Trump exited Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions.

US President Joe Biden’s administration and other global powers have been in talks with Iran to revive the deal.

Iran has accepted crypto mining in recent years, offering cheap power and requiring miners to sell their bitcoins to the central bank. Tehran allows cryptocurrencies mined in Iran to be used to pay for imports of authorised goods.

The prospect of cheap power has attracted miners, particularly from China, to Iran. Generating the electricity they use requires the equivalent of around 10 million barrels of crude oil a year, or 4 percent of total Iranian oil exports in 2020, according to Elliptic.

REUTERS

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Tesla to resume accepting Bitcoin after due diligence: CEO Elon Musk

(Asian News Hub) – Electric-car maker Tesla will “most likely” resume accepting Bitcoin as payments after it conducts due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said at a conference.

Musk’s comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla said in May it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s biggest digital currency for payment.

“I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50 percent, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin” Musk said.

“Tesla’s mission is accelerating the advent of sustainable energy. We can’t be the company that does that and also not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of bitcoin,” he added.

After the conference, Bitcoin was up 6 percent at $31,900, while ether surged 10 percent to $1,970. Tesla’s shares were down 0.8 percent at $655.30 in extended trading.

Musk added that he personally owned bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin, apart from bitcoin that Tesla and SpaceX owned.

“I might pump, but I don’t dump,” Musk said. “I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling … I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”

Inputs from Reuters

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Have a Rs 10 note with an Ashoka Pillar: Sell it for Rs 25K

(Asian News Hub) – These days people are making a lot of money by selling their old coins and notes. Old and rare coins of Re 1, Rs 2 and notes of Re 1, Rs 2 and 5 are being auctioned for thousands of rupees online.

If you have a coin of the Rs 10 denomination with Mata Vaishno Devi engraved on it, you can earn lakhs of Rupees by putting them up for auction. A Re 1 note dating back to 1977-1979 is being auctioned for Rs 45,000. The catch here however is that the note must have the signature of the former principal secretary, ministry of finance, Hirubhai Patel who served under Prime Minister, Morarji Desai.

In order for you to earn this kind of money you can visit CoinBazzar, create an account and then submit your details such as name, email, full address following which you can sell your coin or note. All you need to do is put out your coin or. Note, quote the price and wait for a buyer who will contact you directly.

If you a Rs 10 note with an Ashoka Pillar printed on one side and a boat on the other, you can earn up to Rs 25,000. This note was issued in 1943 during the British era. Further this note should have the signature of then RBI governor, C D Deshmukh and Rs 10 should be written in the English language on both ends of the note on the backside. If you have this note, you can sell it on CoinBazzar.

Currently, 10 pieces of the ONGC commemorative Rs 5 coins are selling for Rs 200 on CoinBazzar. A Rs 100 note with the numerical series 000786 with the signature of former RBI Governor Subba Rao is being sold for Rs 1,999.

AGENCY

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Tour operators demand generalization of loan package announced by FM

Jahangir Sofi

(Asian News Hub) – After the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 28th June announced the loan package for a section of stakeholders associated with the tourism industry, valley based tour operators welcoming the loan package demanded the package should be generalised for all tour operators and tourist guides.

Manzoor Ahmed Pakthoon a senior member of United Tourism Forum (UTF), an amalgam of valley based tour operators, told news agency— Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that though it is a much needed decision taken by the government, “the question is how much the valley based tour operators and tourist guides are going to get the help of it, as the package has been kept for those who are recognized by Ministry of Tourism.”

“The package should be generalised for all so that every stakeholder gets benefit out of it. Our industry has been struggling and unless there isn’t any assistance the survival of our industry is very difficult,” he said.

He further said, “there was a meeting in this regard, and in the coming days, we will approach the top authorities in the administration so that the loan package is generalised for all tour operators and tourist guides.”

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 28th June had announced financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides/travel and tourism stakeholders, under new loan guarantee scheme for COVID affected sectors, under which working capital/personal loans will be provided to people in tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19.

Under the loan guarantee scheme, the Finance Minister said, loans of Rs 10 lakh and Rs one lakh with a hundred percent guarantee will be provided to travel firms and guides respectively.

As per the scheme, there would also be no processing charges or requirement of additional collateral on these loans, and any foreclosure or prepayment charges would also be waived off. The scheme would be administered by the Ministry of Tourism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).

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