Chinese Bitcoin Miners Request Iran to Allow Them to Mine Cryptocurrency in the Country
Chinese cryptocurrency miners have made requests to Iran government through official channels for their cryptocurrency mining operations in the country, reported Iran press PressTV.
According to Mohammad Sharqi, managing director of Iran Blockchain Association, a nonprofit community which promotes blockchain technology, conversations have been held with the Chinese miners about their plans in Iran.
“The Chinese have made requests through official channels for cryptocurrency mining in free zones,” Sharqi told the Iranian press.
Prior to that, the country has been attracting a growing number of bitcoin miners, especially Chinese miners due to its cheap electricity touted low as $0.006 per kilowatt-hour. With the join of Chinese miners, a big player in bitcoin mining, the industry began to explode in the country.
Last month, a 7% spike in power consumption has led the Iranian authorities to blame illegal cryptocurrency mining operations for the big increase in the country’s electricity usage. Following that, state-run electric company spokesperson Mostafa Rajabi Mashhad warned that illegal mining facilities would be cut off from the grid, which soon generated a chorus of recrimination which has touched off peremtory crackdown on bitcoin miners.
While Sharqi believes much of the clamor about an extremely deleterious effect of the practice has been exaggerated. With concerns that these mining activities might go underground to the homes of ordinary people, Sharqi suggests the energy ministry had better regulate crypto mining by giving out licenses to industrial and commercial utilization of electricity.
On Saturday, Iran’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi admitted that the Chinese were interested in tapping Iranian cryptocurrency market.
“If there is a demand by foreign investors in this regard, the Ministry of Energy could take advantage of it and welcome them in order to develop infrastructure and produce electricity,” Sharqi said.
The Iranian government is facing a serious dilemma as the country is considering adopting the virtual, decentralized currency, which could provide a back-channel to bypass US sanctions. In this sense, it is very likely that the country will be lenient with the crypto mining industry.