The President of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced that the government plans to approve cryptocurrency mining – although the country has not yet established rules for the legal trade in cryptocurrencies.
Iranian central bank governor Abdol Nasser Hemmati said on Wednesday that the government has approved part of an administrative law that will allow cryptocurrency mining. In the past few months, cryptocurrency mining activities have become increasingly popular in Iran, mainly due to relatively cheap electricity prices.
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Hemmati said the government has authorized digital currency mining such as Bitcoin to be based on two main conditions.
“Electricity fees for digital currency mining should be collected at the export electricity price standard. More importantly, the cryptocurrency obtained by mining should be returned to the national economic cycle.”
The official said that CBI will not allow the value of any currency in the country to be determined by the price of the country's currency, rials, gold or other assets.
At the time of the announcement, Iran’s bitcoin mining activity has seen unprecedented growth. Authorities have launched actions against illegal bitcoin mines in factories and other places. According to the central bank, these places have subsidies for electricity use and it is illegal to use them for mining.
Recently, some media reported that miners from China have established several bitcoin mines throughout Iran.
However, some believe that Iran can use its abundant off-peak power resources to feed these mines, because in the face of increasing economic pressure in the United States, Iran can create wealth for itself in this way.
At present, Iran exports electricity to neighboring countries at a price of between US$0.7 and US$0.10 per watt, while the bitcoin mines in the industrial and agricultural sites only pay a low price of US$0.05 per watt.