According to the Bloomberg report, the Iranian government is using intelligence officers to find and stop large-scale farms that have been set up to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The Iranian Students’ News Agency had reported the testimony of a distribution coordinator at a state-run grid operator, who said the Ministry of Intelligence had begun setting up committees across the country to find and seize crypto mining farms. Iran has taken a strict stance on crypto mining in recent months due to frequent blackouts caused by them.
Iran increases its effort to curb illegal crypto mining.
Iran recently increased its efforts to curb down the illicit mining of cryptocurrencies after the nation’s electricity grids began to falter under heavy consumption. The state-run energy grid operator, Tavanir, was forced to restrict power to certain parts of the country due to increased energy usage by miners, resulting in power cuts, and the dimming of street lights. Earlier, a spokesperson from Iran’s Ministry of Energy recently reminded citizens that mining crypto at home was also illegal and that anyone caught doing so would face heavy fines if caught.
87% of cryptocurrency mining in Iran is considered illegal.
Cryptocurrency mining is a legal industrial activity in Iran. It is subject to licensing, and the government regulates the pricing of electricity used in the process. However, a spokesperson for Iran’s Ministry of Energy, Mostafa Rajabi, stated that as much as 87% of cryptocurrency mining in Iran was considered illegal. One fruitful source of information for the government on the operation of mining farms is reportedly local whistleblowers, who are incentivized with cash rewards to notify authorities of illegal activity. Earlier, the national grid operator doubled the maximum reward for successful tip-offs, raising it to 200 million rials ($873) — more than four times the median monthly salary in the country.