Tech

Steve Kaaru

Crypto mining to get approval in Iran as gov’t seeks to boost economy

Iran plans to authorize cryptocurrency mining in order to boost its economy, a new report has revealed. The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) approved parts of an executive law which will authorize crypto mining in the country.

The report by PressTV revealed that one of the factors behind the move was the increasing popularity of crypto mining in the country. Now, with the activity soon to be allowed and regulated, it’s easier for the government to monitor it.

Iran also has plenty of cheap electricity, some of which it exports to its neighbors. With energy costs being the biggest prohibitive factor to mining, Iranian miners will have a significant edge over their peers. The country currently charges up to $0.7 per watt for exported electricity. However, for its industrial and agricultural facilities, charges are subsidized to $0.05. Crypto miners have been using this subsidized electricity, greatly reducing their energy costs.

The governor of the CBI, Abdol Nasser Hemmati, told the news outlet that the government would have two conditions before allowing crypto mining activities in the country. “Mining of the international digital currencies should be done based on the price of electricity for export,” he said, adding, “What’s more important is that these mined currencies should be fed back to the national economic cycle.”

Hematti added that the government wouldn’t allow any cryptocurrency whose price was decided by the price of the national currency, gold or other assets.

The move aims at boosting the economy of the oil-rich western Asian country which has been on the receiving end of renewed U.S. sanctions. The U.S. has even threatened to impose sanctions on countries that conduct any form of trade with Iran. Sanctions have also limited the country’s access to the U.S. dollar, which is the dominant tool of trade internationally. This has seen Iran’s international trading ties dwindle quickly, with the government being forced to quickly find a way out.

The cheap electricity available in Iran has not only led to an upsurge in local crypto mining activities, some reports indicate that miners from other countries are also setting up shop in the country. Chinese miners have flocked there, according to local reports. This led to stakeholders in the crypto industry asking for regulations.

Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Javad Azari Jahromi, stated earlier this week, “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. This is mainly due to the gas reserves that Iran enjoys. These reserves are used freely by Iranian power plants. This has turned Iran into an interesting country for crypto-currency miners in the world.”

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