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Iranian Spies to Hunt Down Illegal Bitcoin Miners

The Iranian government enlisted intelligence officers with the task of cracking down on illegal cryptocurrency miners. This unprecedented move aims to solve the nation’s concerns with rising electricity consumption.

The Government vs. Illegal Crypto Miners

The Iranian authorities seem determined to solve their issues with illicit crypto mining. Bloomberg reported that the Ministry of Intelligence helped set up committees across the Asian country to detect and seize computer ”farms” that mine digital assets without authorization.

Gholamali Rakhshani Mehr – the distribution coordinator at Tavanir – reminded that Iran is a very attractive location for crypto miners because of its subsidized energy prices. However, he added that it faces a major issue because the surge in mining generated great electricity consumption and thus energy deficiency across the entire nation.

Interestingly, a key source of the Ministry of Intelligence is a public whistleblower whose task is to report illicit mining. Tavanir this year raised the maximum reward for the mission to 200 million rials ($873), which is 7.5 times the minimum monthly wage in Iran.

The media highlighted some of the government’s recent success as so far this year, it seized hundreds of computer devices hidden in industrial units, houses, and abandoned garages.

Crypto Mining Using Household Electricity to Face Fines

Numerous companies inside the Asian country started mining digital assets due to the low-cost electricity in Iran after the government approved the process in 2019. Even though many of the firms profited, the operation caused some environmental controversy. Furthermore, it became clear that many crypto miners use household electricity.

As Tehran Times reported, the government plans to put heavy fines on miners who use this type of energy. Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi – Energy Minister’s spokesman – added that mining companies and individuals will also have to repair the country’s electricity network.

At the same time, the head of Iran’s Thermal Plant Holding Company (TPPH) provided a more positive outtake:

”The necessary equipment has been installed in three power plants of Ramin, Neka, and Shahid Montazeri. According to the laws and regulations announced by the cabinet and the Energy Ministry, we have been allowed to allocate some capacity of our power plants for mining cryptocurrencies.”

The country’s officials agreed to the proposal but revealed that those organizations would not profit from the Iranian subsidies on their fuel supplies.

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