Iranian crypto miners using household energy to face large fines

Iran is fighting against unauthorized crypto mining amid ongoing energy supply shortages.

The Iranian government continues to closely monitor the cryptocurrency mining industry by initiating new measures against home crypto miners, according to a new report.

Mostafa Rajabi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy of Iran, said that crypto mining with household electricity is not legal and thus, home miners will have to pay heavy fines if discovered, local news agency The Tehran Times reported Sunday.

Crypto miners using household energy will be also required to provide compensation for potential damages caused to the electricity network, the official stated. 

Rajabi said that the government has undertaken these measures in order to get a handle on Iran’s power shortage — the result of foreign sanctions on hydrocarbons and decreased hydroelectric production due to less-than-average rainfall.  

Rajabi stated that unauthorized crypto mining can damage the local power grid and lead to blackouts. He said last week that as much as 87% of crypto mining operations in Iran are illegal.

The energy crisis in Iran has led the government to strictly control the energy-intensive industry. Back in 2018, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Cyberspace Council said that various ministries of the country’s government had accepted mining as an industry. Eventually, the Iranian government approved crypto mining as an industrial activity in 2019, subjecting it to a licensing scheme and regulated electricity price regime.

In April, the central bank authorized banks and licensed forex shops to use crypto as payments for imports to mitigate the impact of sanctions imposed by the United States.