Persian Gulf is located in the Middle East and is surrounded by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. It is home to the world's richest oil and gas resources. In this area, 85% of electricity comes from natural gas. Cheap oil and gas resources, plus the government's strong subsidies, make the electricity costs in this area extremely cheap, while the oil giant Iran's electricity bill is as low as 4 cents.
Compared with the domestic electricity costs of around 3 hairs, Iran's power resources mean huge attraction for bitcoin miners who consume a lot of electricity.
As a result, a batch of "gold rushers" decided to join this adventure of chasing cheap electricity. In addition to the tempting wealth in front, there is even more "suddenly" thrilling.
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In the process, some mining machines were confiscated, some people were deceived by the mines, some were blackmailed… and as the miners gradually paid attention to Iranian electricity, the living space of domestic miners may deteriorate.
The "temptation" of Iran's cheap electricity
Liu Feng was the first miners in China to find cheap electricity in Iran.
In November 2018, bitcoin prices fell from more than 6,000 US dollars to around 3,000 US dollars. From the big profit before the loss of 2 per day, after the big drop can not start, more than 20,000 T9 mining machines in the Liufeng mine face the fate of being eliminated.
"Unless there is cheaper electricity, these mining machines bought with real money will have to face the fate of "50 pounds a pound" being processed." Liu Feng said, "based on the comprehensive electricity bill of 0.4 yuan, then T9 Even if this type of mining machine is overclocked, it will increase the computing power from 12.5T to 14.5T, which is difficult to make profit."
Port Abbas is Iran's largest trading port, where a large number of import and export goods are loaded and unloaded here, inland or distributed to all parts of the world.
At that time, Sichuan in November had just entered a dry season, and cheap power resources were gradually depleted.
At the end of the flood season, the foreign currency price plummeted, making the entire mining difficult. Just when many miners chose to shut down and rest, Liu Feng inadvertently got the news that “Iran electricity costs only 4 cents”, which opened a door for Liu Feng’s overseas mining business.
“There was a friend working in a Chinese state-owned enterprise in Iran. In 2018, he mentioned to me that I had 4 cents of electricity in Iran. I was shocked at the time.” Liu Feng said, “But almost all miners’ mindsets are 'can stay in the country’. I will not go abroad, so I will put it aside."
Today, the country can't go on, and Iran's cheap power resources have given him a huge temptation.
"With Iran's 4 cents of electricity, this price of only 400 used second-hand T9, not only can start, can create more than 3,000 pieces of profit within a year," Liu Feng said, "This is a great temptation. ”
Mining mainly depends on electricity charges, and the name is well-deserved.
As for why Iran’s electricity tariffs are so cheap, this is inextricably linked to local policies and rich oil and gas resources.
“In Iran, more than 90% of the electricity is produced through clean natural gas energy. As the largest oil and gas producer in the Persian Gulf region, the natural gas here is everywhere. One cubic gas is only a few cents, almost free. Liu Feng said.
At the same time, the Iranian policy also has extremely excellent policy support for power generation companies.
"If anyone plans to invest in a power plant in Iran, the government has provided natural gas for free in the first five years, which has reduced the cost of power generation." Liu Feng told 31QU.
In addition, Iran's manpower, gasoline, diesel and other resources are quite cheap, which further reduces the cost of power generation.
"Gasoline is only 6 cents a liter, and diesel is 4 cents a liter." Liu Feng said, "Human resources are equivalent to the level of 15 years ago in China. For college students who are engaged in IT, the monthly salary of 2,000 yuan is quite high. ”
This seems to Liu Feng to be a “mining paradise”.
But everything has two sides. "It is precisely because of the huge subsidy of the Iranian government on power resources that the Iranian government has also included high-energy electronic equipment such as bitcoin mining machines in the list of 2,000 items of customs embargoes."
Customs policies have become an obstacle to the urgent need for cheap electric miners such as Liu Feng, but this has not stopped Liu Feng from taking the opportunity to bring the mining machine to the sea.
Iran encounter pit
“Under the introduction of friends, I contacted the international trading company and delivered the first batch of 3,000 T9 mines to the port of Abbas, Iran by water and land.” Liu Feng said, “The first thing that is shipped to the port is how to declare it. This can't be passed, and there is no need to talk about it later."
How to clear customs becomes a problem that all miners who want to enter Iran must face.
Overclocking is to increase the rated power of the mining machine by 15%-25% through special technology, but this will have a serious impact on the life of the mining machine.
"The general practice of commerce companies is to change the mining machine and declare it in the form of a computer processor." Liu Feng said.
But the risk is extremely high.
In the case of non-compliance, once the mine is inspected, it will be confiscated, and there is a rumor among the miners walking in Iran: Iranian Customs has so far confiscated at least 40,000 models of various types of cryptocurrency. Mining machine.
Of course, Liu Feng's mining machine was successfully passed through the help of the commerce company.
Customs clearance is only the first step in the long march.
Facts have proved that the most dangerous is not the rough seas, but the first time in Iran’s land that is unfamiliar. Liu Feng, who is mining inland in Iran, has "a lot of pits" and the loss is huge.
“Under the introduction of a friend, we negotiated a local power generation company and negotiated a 6-point electricity bill. The profit was divided according to Sanqi,” Liu Feng said. “After the cost of operation and maintenance, the power plant is three, so the actual profit is still Pretty big."
However, two months later, the power plant suddenly became hung, requiring the electricity bill to rise to 1 gross 2, and the share was turned into five five. "Under mining under such conditions, in fact, it has not made much money." In desperation, Liu Feng had to change the mining machine and set out to find a "more reliable" opportunity.
This incident made Liu Feng realize that "Iranians are prone to change, and things that are good fortune are also common."
Liu Feng’s first attempt ended in failure.
Then in the beginning of 2019, with the help of his friends, he found a local steel factory, and the steel industry itself is a large electricity consumer. The electricity consumed by thousands of mining machines here is one of the nine cattle.
He shipped the second batch of 3,000 T9 mines to Iran. Of course, entering Iran in the form of gray customs clearance has always been like a sword of Damocles hanging over Liu Feng’s head, which made him unable to feel at ease.
This time, the "pit" was directly caused by the customs clearance issue.
“The noise of several thousand mining machines in the factory itself is relatively large. The mining was reported by local people in less than a month, and then it was detained by the local authorities.” Liu Feng said.
In Liu Feng’s view, almost all of the miners mining in Iran have compliance issues. What kind of thrilling moments do these small miners who have entered Iran by relying on "people's back" and "ant moving"? How will they avoid customs clearance and get cheap electricity?
Iranian inland, step by step startling
Miners have already been mining in Iran.
As early as the first half of 2018, when bitcoin prices were still at a high level, some miners entered Iran with the "ant move" approach. They entrusted tourists with their luggage, 3 to 5 per person, and dispersed to Tehran Airport for customs clearance.
"At that time, the number of personal carrying minerals was small, and the customs did not care, but this does not mean that the customs did not care." Liu Feng said.
Liu Feng had encountered a domestic miner, carrying 20 mining machines at a time, and the result was detained by Tehran Airport Customs.
In addition to the high risk, at the same time, the "ant moving" type of mining machine is costly, and the miner must pay about one thousand yuan for each miner.
"The market in the first half of 2018 is not bad, and the miners can accept these extra costs." Liu Feng said.
“Ant moving” is feasible for hundreds of miners and small mine owners, and it is simply not desirable for large mine owners of tens of thousands of mining machines.
As time went into the second half of 2018, the price of Bitcoin continued to fall, and the profiteering window closed. The way of “ant moving” is obviously unsustainable. The “big miners” of thousands of mining machines like Liu Feng had to find another way. Their approach was to “first arrive in Dubai, then cross the Persian Gulf to the port of Abbas and then cross the border to reach the Iranian interior.”
"But from the port of Abbas to the interior of Iran, there is only one road. There are at least two joint customs and police checkpoints on the road that are smuggled by trucks. That is to say, even after passing through the port of Abbas Doesn't mean everything is fine," Liu Feng said.
According to Liu Feng, the vast majority of Iranian customs confiscation of mining aircraft incidents occurred in the port of Abbas to the inland.
And similar things happened to Liu Feng's business partners.
Liu Feng’s partner is a Chinese who has worked in Iran for more than a decade and has a very good personal relationship in Iran. During the bear market in the second half of 2018, he personally cleared the mining machine from the gray channel into Iran, ranging from several hundred to thousands. After repeated successes, he decided to "make a big vote."
Subsequently, 6,000 sets of mining machines were carried into Iran at one time, and the customs were all seized by the customs at one time.
In fact, there are still more backwards in the way of entering Iran.
"Someone tried to transport the mining machine from Afghanistan, and the mountain road came in through the back of the man, but it was limited to dozens of hundreds of sets, which is the size of the miners wanting hundreds of thousands of mining machines. The difference is huge." Liu Feng said.
"Aircraft, fishing boats, mountain road transportation, it is really to achieve all aspects of the sea, land and air." Liu Feng snarled.
Of course, the reason why miners encounter so many "pits" is entirely due to local laws and regulations restricting the bitcoin mining industry.
So in Iran, is there any legal compliance channel to receive domestic mining machines into Iran?
Is the "regular army" entering the market?
“At present, only import and export mining machines in the bonded area of Iran can be compliant, and duty-free and income tax.”
Laohe is a director of Yizhong Group, which is the chairman unit of the Iranian chromium industry and a national key project enterprise of Iran. When talking about the Chinese mining in Iran, he believes that only through the bonded area for mine construction and mining can compliance.
"In the bonded area, there is no entry into Iran, just like in the Beijing Airport Free Trade Zone, but if you want to enter Iran, you need to pay customs duties." Lao He said.
The establishment of the cloud computing industrial park within the bonded area has also received strong support from the Iranian presidential palace, and the construction of facilities within the bonded area can also be carried out in accordance with domestic standards.
The most critical criterion is the use of electricity.
“Workers involved in the transformation of Iran’s electricity must hold Iran’s local electrical qualifications, but they can use Chinese domestic standards and electricians in the bonded area,” said Lao He.
“The mining and electricity use of the Cloud Computing Industrial Park needs to be compliant, that is, it is required to pay a certain refundable electricity deposit to the Iranian State Grid according to regulations, so the small and medium miners suggest that they should enter the group.” Lao He said, “ It is precisely because the similar cloud computing industrial park has a high barrier to entry, so the miners in China may not be able to come in."
For the scale of such industrial parks, "the cloud computing industrial park has nearly 900 megawatts of electricity, and it is conservatively estimated to accommodate 500,000-600,000 sets of mining machines, which may be the largest single mine." Lao He said.
According to Lao He, there are currently more than 10,000 mining machines in the industrial park.
"Compared with the mining guerrilla mode that can be smuggled by tax evasion and smuggling at any time, our model is more like a regular army of legal compliance." Lao He told 31QU.
Jack London's famous short story "Fear of Life" is the most realistic description of the gold rusher's life threatened.
Today's bitcoin miners, in the face of Iran's cheap electricity, will be as crazy as the American gold rush? Can they cross the gap in Iranian policy? Is cheap electricity in the free trade zone available to every miner?
Perhaps there is no standard answer until the Iranian Bitcoin mining industry is truly mature. Such a situation is both an opportunity and a challenge for every miner.
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