In collaboration with intelligence officers, the Iranian government has set out to comb out bitcoin miners operating illegally within the country. Iran, which had legalized the mining process in 2019, has gained popularity among crypto miners due to its subsidized electricity costs. This has attracted miners from different countries such as China and Turkey, subsequently resulting in an increase in the number of mining farms.
Cryptocurrency uptake and popularity have gone up in Iran as an alternative means to trade internationally and invest. This is more so due to the economic sanctions issued by the US against Iran, which significantly impacted their economy. The sanctions which interfered with revenue generation, alongside poor management, resulted in a decline in the countries’ GDP from 5.4 to 7.6 percent between 2018 and 2019.
This has, however, attracted a number of illegal setups which have been operating without authorization. The country has also experienced a spike in energy consumption which is attributed to the high levels of energy consumed during the mining process. Further, it has resulted in energy deficiency in the Asian nation. Environmental concerns from the mining process have also been brought up by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
The report stated the government would also target miners using household electricity for mining activities. It has issued a statement that those found guilty of this will have to pay hefty fines on top of repairing the country’s electricity network.