Law enforcement agencies of Iran have reported the confiscation of 7,000 cryptocurrency mining devices. This was the largest seizure of equipment from an illegal mining farm in the country. In January, the country’s authorities shut down 1,620 illegal mining centers that collectively consumed 250 MW of power.
At the end of May, the Iranian authorities completely banned the mining of cryptocurrencies in the country until September due to a lack of electricity. Moreover, unlicensed mining farms consume almost an order of magnitude more energy than registered ones. However, not all miners have complied with the ban. The confiscated devices were in an abandoned factory in western Tehran.
A similar situation has happened before. During one of the operations, the law enforcement agencies of the United Kingdom of Great Britain discovered a crypto farm that was mining on stolen electricity. Although previously the UK police were looking for a cannabis farm.
Iranian authorities pursue miners
A whole campaign now organized in the country against cryptocurrency miners, when even blockchain projects persecuted. The main reason for such an activation of state activities against mining is the problem with power outages. Including in cities and industrial enterprises. As we noted above, miners persecuted, and cryptocurrency mining operations prohibited until September.
However, regardless of this, the process of Bitcoin mining continues in Iran, even in the conditions of its official illegality.
According to the analytical agency, miners in Iran have a lot of risks with regard to mining. In 2021 alone, they were able to earn nearly $ 1 billion in revenue.
The prospect of obtaining cheap electricity attracted miners to Iran
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 very energy intensive, often relying on electricity generated from fossil fuels, which are abundant in Iran.
According to the analytical company Elliptic, at the moment the capacity of miners in Iran is about 4.5% of the total capacity of the Bitcoin network. This is not surprising – the country’s authorities have made Iran very attractive to miners due to low electricity prices. The prospect of cheap, government-subsidized electricity has attracted miners to Iran, especially from China.
On May 24, it also became known that miners began to leave China due to calls from local authorities to tighten regulation of cryptocurrency mining and trading. The work has already been suspended by two large miners BTC.TOP and HashCow, and two crypto exchanges Bybit and Huobi have stopped serving customers from China.
In recent years, Iran has adopted crypto mining, offering cheap electricity and requiring miners to sell their Bitcoins to the central bank. Tehran allows the use of cryptocurrency mined in Iran to pay for the import of permitted goods, bypassing US sanctions.
However, this doesn’t mean that everyone does this. And even less it means that no attempts are made to hide the income received. In this regard, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced the need to create a clear legal basis for the control of the cryptocurrency industry in order to protect the interests of citizens and the state.