After the former President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, put a ban on cryptocurrency mining as a result of power outage issues for three months, the Iranian government has now lifted the ban. This means that all licensed cryptocurrency miners can resume operations today.
As mentioned, the ban was put into effect due to concerns over the stability of the country’s power grid. The country experienced widespread power outages in the summer, which was attributed to extreme heat.
Due to the power outages, the former President decided to ban crypto mining during the summer to ensure citizens can keep their air conditioners running, although doubts have been expressed in some quarters about how much power cryptocurrency mining actually uses in the country. With the heat dying down and Ebrahim Raisi taking office as the new President, the crypto mining ban has been lifted.
Crypto mining in Iran
An estimated 4.5% to 7% of the world’s cryptocurrency mining is done in Iran. The country has one of the cheapest electricity prices in the world thanks to abundant fossil fuel resources such as natural gas.
Some reports suggest that Iran’s favourable outlook on Bitcoin mining is a way to evade sanctions from the United States. Iran currently suffers from a near-complete ban by the USA, negatively affecting the nation’s economy. At current estimated levels of mining in Iran, revenues are estimated by Elliptic via Reuters to be around $1 billion.
Despite the ban, underground mining reportedly continued and on Wednesday news broke that Ali Sahraee, the director of Teheran’s Stock Exchange (TSE), had resigned after the state-run media reported that cryptocurrency mining was taking place at the exchange during the ban.
TSE leadership first denied the existence of the mining operation, but later executive deputy director, Beheshti-Sarsht admitted that the TSE should be held accountable for the operation.