Since Iran began recognizing cryptocurrency mining as an industry, it has reportedly shut down 1,620 unauthorized crypto mining farms. Crypto miners initially welcomed the recognition but later said that the electricity tariffs were too high.
1,620 Crypto Mining Farms Shut Down in Iran
Iranian authorities have reportedly closed down 1,620 illegal cryptocurrency mining farms since the country started recognizing cryptocurrency mining as a legal industry in July 2019. The Financial Tribune reported Monday that these mining farms were using 250 megawatts of electricity. Many of the unauthorized cryptocurrency mining farms were identified in December as the price of bitcoin surpassed all-time highs.
Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, a spokesman for the Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir), told the state broadcaster on Saturday:
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 face prosecution.
In July 2019, the Iranian government said it would recognize crypto mining as a legal industry. The publication noted that initially, miners welcomed this move but later they claimed that the electricity tariffs were too high and took their businesses underground.
Tavanir is legally authorized to shut down illegal crypto mining businesses, the news outlet noted, adding that a total of 24 cryptocurrency mining farms using 310 MW have been approved by the Ministry of Industries, Mining, and Trade so far.
The Iranian Energy Ministry explained that the electricity bills for miners are based on average power export rates and the country’s Forex Management Integrated System (Nima). “Miners are charged 4,800 rials for one kilowatt-hour that is half the electricity export rate in autumn, winter and spring,” the publication detailed. “However, billings are planned to be based on 19,300 rials/kw, twice the price for exported electricity in summer (June to Sept).”
Rajabi Mashhadi said that the judiciary reported a jump in court cases related to illegal cryptocurrency mining in December and nearly 500 cryptocurrency mining farms were identified with the help of whistleblowers. They are given incentives, including rewards of 100 million rials, for helping energy officials identify illegal crypto mining farms.
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