After much deliberation, the Economic Commission of the Islamic Republic of Iran has officially submitted restrictions on energy costs for crypto miners in the country.
Cryptocurrency has been a particularly hot-button issue in Iran over the past several months, as it represents a borderless, accessible currency that is not subject to international sanctions against the country. As a result, the Iranian people have displayed a wide interest in the technology.
Thanks to massive energy subsidies from the Iranian government, the nation has been profitable for crypto mining operations. Although bitcoin mining is not illegal in the country, regulators have been particularly worried about the possible abuse of government resources in widespread mining operations.
Over 1,000 mining devices were seized by the government in July 2019, and further imports of mining equipment was also banned. In a move that has particularly incensed regulators, miners began setting up operations in places of worship, as the Iranian government supplies them with electricity free of charge.
In June, Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister Homayoun Ha’eri warned the crypto community that the government may propose restrictions on the use of this cheap energy for crypto mining, and it seems as if he is making good on these threats. On July 21, 2019, the Iranian-based Financial Tribune reported that Ha’eri announced that the Economic Commission had agreed to put a tariff on electricity used for crypto mining.
According to the report, Ha’eri noted that the prices of these tariffs will be modeled around the existing system of tariffs that the nation uses for electricity exporters. This leaves a fairly vague set of guidelines, however, as he also noted that these tariffs already vary widely depending on extenuating circumstances. Whatever the case, these new restrictions on crypto mining have not yet been codified into law and still need approval from the government’s cabinet.