RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded lower on Wednesday, falling by 2.49 percent to $47,842 at 1:21 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, traded at $3,809, down by 2.47 percent, according to data from Coindesk.


For the second time this year, Iran has ordered the closure of licensed crypto-mining centers.

This is part of efforts to relieve pressure on the country's energy plants and avoid power outages, according to Mostafa Mashhadi, a spokesman for Iran’s power industry.

The ban, which will be in place until March 6, will free up 209 megawatts of power for consumption in the household sector, he said in an interview with state TV, Bloomberg reported.

Mashhadi added that the authorities are cracking down on illegal mining by individuals at home and industrial units on a large scale.

These unlicensed operators account for the largest share of crypto mining in the country, consuming more than 600 megawatts of electricity.

Other measures to save fuel include turning off street lights in some areas and regulating electricity consumption in offices.

The government expected to increase electricity production by 60% in the summer, Mashhadi said.

Iran's daily household gas demand rose to an unprecedented level of 570 million cubic meters per day for the first time ever, while the country exceeded its maximum production of natural gas to 800 million cubic meters per day, according to the National Iranian Gas Company.

Excessive demand has also reduced the electricity supply to industrial units.


The Kraken cryptocurrency exchange is working on a Non-Fungible Token market that can attract clients who want to do more than just collect digital art, Jesse Powell, Kraken founder and CEO said.

The market will offer custody services and the exchange is considering a system whereby clients can use NFTs as collateral to borrow money against, according to Bloomberg.

“If you deposit a CryptoPunk on Kraken, we want to be able to reflect the value of that in your account, and if you want to borrow funds against that, Kraken is working on a system to determine the liquidation value of the NFT deposited,” Powell said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

“Phase one was speculation, phase two is buying art and supporting artists, phase three is going to be functional uses of NFTs,” he added. Using deposited NFTs as collateral on Kraken could be one of those uses.

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