Cryptocurrency mining is officially legal in Iran.
Iran Says “Yes” to Extracting New Coins
The country, which has had a relatively shaky history with digital currency in the past, recently announced that the process of mining or extracting new coins within its borders will hold no criminal penalties for miners. This is a solid move for Iran to make considering regulators were, at one time, considering banning all cryptocurrencies and releasing its own national form of crypto to potentially subside the sanctions being enforced by the U.S.
This is a tactic that many countries have either considered or are still contemplating. Others include Russia, India and Venezuela. India, at press time, seems the most bent on ensuring all crypto activity is banned and is even looking to enforce jail time for citizens that engage in crypto activity to ensure the prospects of a digital rupee – the nation’s official currency – remain safe and sound. It’s likely India is looking to block out all competition so the rupee can survive.
Venezuela has also initiated use of the Petro, with President Nicolas Maduro now enforcing regulations that will require the nation’s central bank to sell the cryptocurrency to customers everywhere. Bitcoin mining in Venezuela is not illegal, but it does come with its fair share of restrictions. Many bitcoin miners have discussed receiving threats and have been subjected to intimidation tactics by members of the Venezuelan government including the seizure of mining equipment.
Iran says it’s still in the early phases of regulating all mining in the future, but that it now recognizes the process of mining as an official industry. Abdolnaser Hemmati, governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CIB), recently stated in an interview:
A mechanism to mine digital coins was approved by the government’s economic commission and will later be put to discussion at a cabinet meeting.
What’s interesting is how quickly Iran managed to change its mind. Recently, the country was considering outlawing the process of digital mining due to growing electricity consumption concerns. In addition, police authorities have recently seized equipment from two separate (and potentially illegal) mining operations. In all, about 1,000 individual machines were taken.
Will the Country Ease Up Further?
This recent decision to allow mining within Iran suggests that the nation is looking to streamline the industry, though at press time, the country is still enforcing a ban that prevents persons from utilizing cryptocurrencies as means of payment. It is unclear if these barriers will eventually come down now that mining is permitted.
In conclusion, it appears Iran is looking to make money from mining operations given it’s considering an increase in electricity prices. Prior, the country was home to some of the lowest energy rates in the world and attracting miners from across the continent from regions including China.