Iranian authorities have reportedly confiscated 7,000 Bitcoin [BTC] mining machines that were functioning illegally in the country. According to the state media, this happened to be Iran’s largest seizure of cryptocurrency mining machines to date. The machines were found in a deserted factory west of the capital Tehran.
This comes in the backdrop of Bitcoin’s hash rate taking a massive hit, an event that was spurred by a 90% shut down in China’s cryptocurrency mining space, after years of extravagant mining.
Iran’s Cryptocurrency Mining Environment
Iran considers cryptocurrency mining as an authorized activity provided the miners acquire a license from the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade. The country provides cheap power but the miners are required to sell their Bitcoins to the central bank. Tehran also enables cryptocurrencies mined in the country to be used to compensate for imports of authorized goods. These moves by lawmakers have managed to attract miners of late.
Even with these provisions, the authorities claim that many miners flout the rules and keep operating in the country without obtaining a proper license.
Interestingly, the latest news comes a month after the western Asian country had announced banning all cryptocurrency mining rigs, including the legal ones, until the end of the sixth Iranian calendar month on the 22nd of September amidst widespread power outages across the country.
During this time, President Rouhana had also claimed that 85% of crypto mining in the country was operating illegally and unlicensed. Since then, the authorities have been on the lookout.
Besides, a recent study by blockchain analytics company, Elliptic revealed that nearly 4.5% of all BTC mining takes place in Iran and the country is using cryptocurrency to dodge sanctions imposed by other countries. In addition to that, Elliptic also disclosed that crypto mining needed the equivalent of around 10 million barrels of crude oil a year, or 4% of total Iranian oil exports in 2020.