Iran has banned the mining of bitcoin mining and other cryptocurrencies for the next four months amid power blackouts and electricity shortages during summer.
- Iran has temporarily banned bitcoin mining because of electricity outages
- Energy giant Shell has been ordered by a court to cut its greenhouse gas pollution
- Amazon buys movie giant MGM in the battle for streaming supremacy
Iran’s capital Tehran and several other big cities have faced daily electricity outages, and the government said bitcoin mining was part of the problem.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said all cryptocurrency mining operations in the country must shut down until late September.
Government officials said illegal miners without licences are driving the demand for power, with 85 per cent of the bitcoin mining in Iran done illegally.
Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic said about 4.5 per cent of global bitcoin mining in the first four months of this year took place in Iran.
Mr Rouhani said illegal mining uses up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity, while legal operations use around 300 megawatts.
The creation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies requires a huge amount of energy because of the banks of computers required to verify transactions.
The move follows a crackdown on the use of cryptocurrencies by China and the United States.
Tesla founder Elon Musk has also raised concerns about the environmental cost of bitcoin saying that the electric vehicle maker would no longer accept bitcoin for transactions.
Bitcoin rose 3.2 per cent to $US38,824 according to Coindesk.
Shell ordered to slash carbon emissions
A Dutch court has ordered energy giant Royal Dutch Shell to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2030.
The judgement is being seen as a landmark ruling that could trigger legal action against energy companies around the world.
Shell said it was “disappointed” and planned to appeal the ruling in a case filed by major environmental groups.
Judge Larisa Alwin ordered the company to reduce its carbon emissions by nearly half by 2030 from 2019 levels.
Earlier this year, Shell set out one of the sector’s most ambitious climate strategies.
It said it planned to reduce carbon intensity by 20 per cent by 2030 and by 100 per cent by 2050 from 2016 levels.
But the court said that Shell’s climate policy was “not concrete and is full of conditions… that’s not enough.”
US stocks end little changed
US stocks rose slightly as investor concerns about inflation and bond yields remained in check.
Tech stocks like Telsa and Google parent Alphabet boosted the market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 11 points or 0.03 per cent to 34,323, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to 4,196 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6 per cent to 13,738.
Amazon to buy MGM
Amazon rose after it said it would buy US entertainment giant MGM, home to the James Bond franchise, for $US8.45 billion, giving it a huge library of films and TV shows and ramping up competition with streaming rivals led by Netflix and Disney+.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,027, the DAX in Germany fell 0.1 per cent to 15,451.
In futures trade, the ASX SPI 200 index, is up 3 points to 7,093. The ASX 200 ended lower yesterday after a volatile day of trade.
The Australian dollar has slipped 0.1 per cent to around 77.40 US cents after the greenback picked up.
Brent crude oil rose 0.2 per cent to $US68.82 a barrel while spot gold slipped 0.15 per cent to $US1896.43 an ounce.