Iran Gives Cryptocurrency Mining a Nod
In a move easily juxtaposed with US policies on cryptocurrency, the government of Iran has officially recognized cryptocurrency mining as an independent industry.
A move on July 21st by the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture ratified an economic commission approving crypto mining as a legitimate industry. The committee also passed a previous proposal to apply export rates for electricity used by domestic miners. Similarly, Deputy Minister of Electricity and Energy Homayun Haeri stated that government ministers would later vote on an approved electricity rate for mining farms.
Later deliberations on government regulations will be held in a cabinet meeting, as announced by the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Abdolnaser Hemmati.
Despite the recent legitimacy procured by the Iranian mining community, the sea to legal cryptocurrency mining in Iran has been far from smooth sailing. A statement made by the Iranian Energy Ministry in late June announced that mining processes increased national electricity consumption by seven percent over the summer.
This is due to the nation’s relatively low electricity rates, making mining attractive and profitable to cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The ministry consequently proposed for electricity export rates to be applied to miners, a bid echoed by the Iranian government on Sunday.
Following the lead of the Energy Ministry, the Iranian Power Generation and Distribution Company (known locally as TAVANIR) had previously announced that using electricity for mining purposes is illegal and household of commercial users found to be mining cryptocurrency would be cut off from the national grid.
In addition to the previous protests from Iranian energy executives, earlier statements made by Iranian officials included a recommendation by the CBI to bar cryptocurrency for domestic payments in January 2019, marking the future of cryptocurrency as a payment method in Iran uncertain. Despite this, the recent backpedal on mining by the CBI seems to be foreshadowing a victory for cryptocurrency in Iran, with Iranian enthusiasts hopeful for the future.
Title Image Courtesy of Aleksi Raisa