More than 1,000 illegal bitcoin mining sites were closed down by Tavanir, the Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Company of Iran. When authorities offered a 100 million rial reward - equivalent to 2,400 US dollars - for intel on illegal miners in July, whistle blowers came out of the shadows and caved.
Mostafa Mashhadi, head of Tavanir, said that the company was conducting constant monitoring on the energy consumption patterns of illegal miners but that was not enough information to locate them. According to Mashhadi, equipment were installed at industrial and agricultural sites to tap into the electrical supply which jeopardizes the monitoring because then there would be no changes in the pattern.
The government of Iran legalized cryptocurrency mining in July 2019, but miners later complained of high custom taxes. Not long after, these miners took their operations underground without authority.
There were also reports of mining equipment being smuggled into the country. The cost of electricity in Iran is quite cheap, attracting Bitcoin miners from other countries as far as Ukraine and China. Miners only pay as low as $0.01 or 4,800 rials per kilowatt-hour, increasing to $0.05 or 19,300 rials in the summer season (June to September).
Since the legalization last year, regulatory authorities have approved the operations of 624 crypto miners, but some where showing inactivity. The Iranian vice-president declared last month that a new rule will be imposed requiring all miners to be registered with the government.
Last July 12, the government lessened the electricity tariffs for crypto miners by 47% provided that they register their business under the government with full disclosure and cooperate with the projects of Tavanir aimed to maximize power sources, one project being the replacement of old air conditioners.
Iran is beginning to adapt bitcoin in both political and economic aspects of the nation to break free from the global dominance of America.