IT minister calls for regularization of Bitcoin mining in Iran

TEHRAN, Jul. 07 (MNA) – Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi urged the regularization of bitcoin mining business in Iran given the recent reports of bitcoin miners’ use of Iran’s cheap power.

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

"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," the minister said.

He went on to say that electricity prices in Iran are too cheap in comparison with 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.”

He said mining machines have already been smuggled into the country and there are many active sites in this area. “I’ve heard of Chinese miners’ presence in Iran through unconfirmed reports,” he said.

“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.

On Saturday, an Iranian lawmaker called on the government to prepare and submit a bill on cryptocurrencies while reports indicate a surge in the country’s power consumption due to bitcoin mining.

“Unfortunately, there is no specific law to monitor activities around cryptocurrencies in the country and it is essential that the government prepares a specific bill for determining the fate of cryptocurrencies’ mining, such as bitcoin, and exchanging currencies using this digital money and submit the bill to the Parliament so that the power rate of those who are mining across the country would be determined,” MP Ali Akbar Karimi, a member of Iranian Parliament’s Economic Committee, told Mehr News Agency.

“Mining cryptocurrencies has become a common and widespread activity in Iran and it consumes considerable power which has caused problems for the country, especially in the hot season.”

A mechanism should be defined to control power consumption and also to punish those who mine using subsidized power rates, he added.

The Central Bank of Iran has just announced a ban on activities around cryptocurrencies while such measure has not still turned into a law, he highlighted, adding, “using digital currencies is a good solution for ditching sanctions but it needs to be regulated.”

HJ/Tasnim 2047042

News Code 147278

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