Iran Wages War on Bitcoin Miners, Shutters 1,620 Unlicensed Operators
Iranian authorities have hammered down a massive 1,620 bitcoin (BTC) and crypto mining farms in the state. The authorities claim the operators of the bitcoin ming farms failed to register with the government as earlier directed, according to reports on January 7, 2021.
Iran Shuts Down Illegal Bitcoin Miners
Having officially recognized bitcoin mining as an industry earlier in August 2019, and made it clear to operators that they must obtain licenses from the relevant authorities, the government of Iran is now clamping down on unauthorized crypto miners in the state.
Per sources close to the latest development, Iranian authorities have clamped down on 1,620 unauthorized crypto mining farms that allegedly used nearly 250 megawatts of electricity since late 2019.
In the same vein, Tavanir, Iran’s power generation, distribution and transmission company, has revealed that illegal mining operations in the region have caused significant damages to the infrastructure of energy distributors in the state and perpetrators of the menace will be made to pay huge penalties.
Commenting on the matter, Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, a Tavanir spokesman said:
“Tavanir is strict in dealing with unauthorized miners, those who use subsidized power, such as unlicensed miners, will be fined as much as the loss they impose on the national grid. Their mining places will be disconnected from the national grid and they will be severely punished.”
With a production capacity of four million barrels per day, Iran is the third-largest crude oil producer under the organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, international sanctions and strained relations between the Islamic country and the Western world has made life difficult for the nation.
Against that backdrop, Iran has been looking for ways of using its crypto ecosystem to alleviate its sufferings and circumvent international sanctions.
As reported by BTCManager in May 2020, Iran’s President Rouhani held talks with officials of the nation’s apex bank as well as other government parastatals and urged them to formulate a well-researched national cryptocurrency and blockchain strategy.
So far only one firm named iMiner has obtained a bitcoin mining license from the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, a strong indication that the barrier to entry is very high and can not be met by small-scale miners.
If the conditions remain this way, there will be a massive exodus of crypto miners from Iran to regions with friendlier legislation and such a scenario could have dire consequences for the country, especially as digital currencies continue their match towards global adoption.