Bitcoin Mining in Iran Must Be Regularized: Minister

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Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi has highlighted the potentialities of crypto-currency mining, calling for the regularization of the business in Iran given the recent reports of bitcoin miners’ use of Iran’s cheap power.

Azari Jahromi said before Iran, 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.

“I’ve heard of Chinese miners’ presence in Iran through unconfirmed reports,” he said, speaking after his official visit to China.

He went on to say that the price of power in Iran is too cheap compared with its counterparts in other parts of the world, adding in some European states, the price of each kilowatt of industrial power stands at 20 cents while in Iran the figure is about 9 to 10 cents.

“This is mainly due to the gas reserves that Iran enjoys. These reserves are used freely by Iranian power plants,” he said. “This has turned Iran into an interesting country for crypto-currency miners in the world.”

“Iran’s power is highly interesting for the crypto-currency miners but we should have this point in mind that our power plants use our water resources,” he said.

The Iranian minister then said it is not acceptable to see that some people take advantage of the current situation and mine crypto-currency by using domestic power.

“At this situation, mining crypto-currency means exporting currency in the cyberspace. In another word, we can export our power through mining crypto-currency without making any considerable investment in power superstructure,” he said.

Azari Jahromi said plans are being developed to allocate special sites near power plants for mining crypto-currency.

“Such sites reduce the cost of power transportation,” he said, adding that the miners should pay a higher price for the power because of their high income.

The minister then called for regularizing the operators which are active in crypto-currency mining and added the government should issue legal certification for them.

He said mining machines have already been smuggled into the country and there are many active sites in this area.

“Estimates by Iran’s Energy Ministry show that 700 megawatts of the country’s power are used for mining. This violates ordinary people’s rights,” he said.

Iran’s Energy Ministry had earlier warned that it would cut off the power of crypto-currency miners if they keep overusing the country’s cheap power.

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