- Iran has allowed power plants to operate large-scale Bitcoin mining operations in the country.
- Interested parties will have to comply with three caveats.
- A number of organizations have already placed inquiries about mining Bitcoin.
Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, the deputy manager of Iran’s national electricity board and governing body Tavanir, said power plants can run their Bitcoin mining facilities provided they comply with all regulations, gain the requisite licenses, and do not use subsidized electricity.
The move comes as authorities in Iran look towards newer avenues for economic growth, such as Bitcoin mining and revitalizing its stock market.
But that won’t come at the cost of disadvantaging its citizens, points out Mashhadi.
"Now, and in a situation where the supply of electricity is of great importance to the public, we will not allow those who misuse the tariffs provided for the agricultural and industrial sectors to produce Bitcoin that are worth more than $9,000," he said.
He added that Iran has the cheapest electricity tariffs; a benefit to Bitcoin miners who typically seek cheap power, cool climates, and labor to maximize their profits.
Requests have already started to pour in. A spokesman for the electricity board said they have already received over 14 “major” bids for establishing Bitcoin mining units. All parties have asked for outputs over 300 Megawatts, equivalent to the consumption of three provinces in Iran.
Meanwhile, Mashhadi said that illegal Bitcoin miners will face legal consequences. He announced a 10 million Rial ($240) bounty for those who expose such units.
Bitcoin mining is a potential boon for Iran. It continues to reel from the economic ill-effects of sanctions imposed by international governments, such as the US, over its nuclear program.
And it’s wholeheartedly jumping on this opportunity. In 2019, Irani ministers said the Bitcoin mining can pull in over $8.5 billion annually; an amount the country’s not holding back from.