Iran’s state-owned electricity distribution company, Tavanir, has threatened drastic measures to discourage unauthorized crypto mining. These include subsidized electricity and much higher fines for those who mined digital currencies, along with penalties for government officials involved in mining.
Tavnir fined for illegal cryptocurrency mining
Iran Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Company (Tavnir) has adopted new, more serious measures to prevent crypto mining outside the law. Utility spokesman Mustafa Rajabi Mashhadi announced that the fines for illegal activities in the area had been increased by 400%. Quoted by the Financial Tribune, the English-language Iranian edition, he elaborated:
Unlicensed crypto miners will have to pay their electricity bills at rates four times higher than export rates that already exceed subsidized tariffs for households.
Mashhadi also said that first-time offenders would be denied access to subsidized energy, including electricity, natural gas and liquid fuels, for a period of three months after being identified. And those caught again will be cut off from supply for a full year, the official added in a statement published on the Iranian Ministry of Energy’s website.
If crypto mining is detected in facilities owned by government organizations or public institutions, those responsible will face penalties under the law and suspended from their government jobs in the Islamic Republic, the report also revealed. .
As of last year, the government in Tehran has decided to prohibit crypto mining, in the hope that electricity shortages will increase during the warmer months of the year when consumption for cooling will increase. In June, Tavnir ordered licensed miners to cease operations by the end of this summer. The seasonal ban sparked negative reactions from the local crypto community.
In 2021, power shortages and frequent blackouts were partly to blame for increased electricity use for mining – both legal and illegal – and last May licensed miners were ordered to shut down. They were allowed to resume operations in September, but were then asked to unplug their hardware as the demand for heating increased during the colder months.
Iran legalized cryptocurrency mining as an industrial activity in July 2019. Since then, dozens of companies have applied for licenses from the Ministry of Industry and started minting coins with the low-cost energy provided by Iranian power plants.
However, since electricity sold to households is so cheap, many Iranians set up improvised mining installations, increasing the load for the electricity generation industry. Iranian authorities are chasing these miners and, according to a report published in May, have busted around 7,000 underground crypto farms.
Do you expect Iranian authorities to continue cracking down on cryptocurrency mining? Tell us in the comments section below.
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