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It is estimated that around four to seven percent of the world’s global crypto mining is carried out in Iran.
The Iranian government has lifted its three-month-long ban on cryptocurrency miners. Following the halt on all crypto-activities, including Bitcoin mining, by President of Iran Hassan Rouhani from May 26th this year, the government has now allowed licensed crypto miners to restart their trade operations in the country.
The ban on crypto activities was brought into effect due to the scrutiny over the stability of Iran’s reckless power grid. Instances of extensive power outages in the summer when the temperature soared to approximately 49 degrees Celsius received immense criticism. To tackle such widespread issues of power outages and water shortage, President Rouhani announced a ban on all mining activities during the summer. Since crypto mining uses a large amount of power, this would ensure that the power can be used to brave the harsh conditions of Iran.
Since the summer, the heat around crypto in Iran has gone soft and Ebrahim Raisi has taken over as the president from August 3rd, giving way to a lift on the Bitcoin ban. It is estimated that around four to seven percent of the world’s global crypto mining is carried out in Iran. Ironically, Iran has one of the lowest electricity prices in the world owing to the abundance of natural resources in the country.
Iran, at present, endures a severe interdiction by the US, which has badly affected the country’s economy. While that is true, it is speculated that Iran has been looking forward to Bitcoin mining as a side route to avoid US sanctions. At present, the heightened levels of mining in Iran will approximately generate a revenue of about $1 Billion.
Despite the strict regulations imposed by the government in Iran, underground/illegal mining has been reported significantly in the country. Ali Sahraee, the director of Teheran’s Stock Exchange(TSE), had to stand down from his position following an escalated controversy on illegal mining taking place at the exchange despite the ban. Initially, the Teheran’s Stock Exchange leaders and heads denied any allegations on the underground mining operations. However, eventually, the deputy director Beheshti-Sarsht confessed that the exchange was answerable for the operations carried under their nose.
Iran formally recognized crypto mining as an industry very recently and has been able to sufficiently furnish its miners with cheap power to trade their mined Bitcoins to the central bank. China, with its recent crackdown on crypto activities, has witnessed many of its crypto miners relocating to Iran for the perks of cheap power.