The Iranian government has banned the usage of subsidized electricity from the national grid for cryptocurrency mining during peak hours, which amount to over 300 hours per year.
The people who report such illegal mining will be rewarded 20% of the amount recovered as penalty from the miner.
The government has fixed $0.08 per Kilowatt-hour (kWh) as the baseline for power consumed by cryptocurrency miners.
The power theft by illegal miners will be calculated at $0.16 per kWh for the four months of summer and $0.04 per kWh for eight months of winter.
It comes in the wake of a 7% increase in subsidized energy consumption in the country. In a subsequent crackdown, authorities recovered 1,000 bitcoin mining machines from two abandoned factories, which we’re using subsidized energy for mining operations.
The government has not made bitcoin mining a crime. It recently ratified a Bill recognizing cryptocurrency mining as a legitimate industry.
Bitcoin miners will need to get prior approval from the country’s industry ministry, and mining is not allowed within a 30 km radius of all provincial centers except the capital Teheran and Esfahan city.
Businesses that make power plants for the use of bitcoin miners will receive incentives. As most of these plants will be based on renewable-energy, whose supply is inconsistent, the national grid will make up for the shortfall in energy supply from these plants.
Cryptocurrency usage in online gambling and gaming industries has increased in recent years. Bitcoin gambling has become a rage. In light of this, the usage of subsidized energy for mining seems out of place.
It also highlights the problem of the large carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining operations. The Iranian government seeks to use renewable energy sources to meet the energy demands of this sector. It also brings to fore the need for new, less energy-intensive modes of cryptocurrency mining, so that its growth remains unimpeded. It will also give a boost to renewable sources of energy like wind power, solar energy, etc.