TL;DR: Citing multiple reports of renewed interest in cryptocurrency mining within Iran, the country’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology called for tighter regulations due to fears miners could be exploiting the nation’s relatively cheaper energy costs. It’s a subtle pivot that doesn’t appear to ban the activity, which could be a sign the government might be coming around to the idea.
Iran Government to Issue Bitcoin Mining Regulations
Mehr News Agency, a division of the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization (IIDO) in Tehran, is reporting Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, is calling for cryptocurrency mining regulations.
In recent weeks, reports have surfaced from the wild (mining inside a mosque) to the more believable (1,000 rigs being seized) to worrisome pronouncements about the specter of mining being an illegal use of state-subsidized energy production. This time around, Jahromi and other representatives seem less inclined to put a complete kibosh on the practice, and are rather attempting to regularize businesses associated.
“The minister called for regularizing the operators which are active in crypto-currency mining and added the government should issue legal certification for them,” Mehr explained. “Most of crypto-currency mining operations in the world used to be carried out in China but today, Iran is turning into a new hub in this area,” Jahromi was quoted. Prices in Iran are cheaper, and at least half that of Europe’s energy costs, for example, due in large part to the Middle East country’s plentiful gas reserves. “This has turned Iran into an interesting country for crypto-currency miners in the world,” the minister maintained.
The minister admitted to guessing Chinese miners were among the culprits, but insisted 700 megawatts of power is being used for mining, something he characterized as a violation of “ordinary people’s rights.” A member of parliament (MP) stressed the need for dealing with the phenomenon as a whole, even though Iran’s central bank has effectively called for a ban recently. It might simply be the case economic necessity is winning out, during ever-gripping international sanctions and belligerency from the likes of the United States — join ’em if you can’t beat ’em. MP Ali Akbar Karimi further remarked how “using digital currencies is a good solution for ditching sanctions but it needs to be regulated.”
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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