19 Nov 2019 #Bitcoin
Iran has had an open-minded approach towards cryptocurrencies, but now, the government’s stance on mining has become a bit tougher after the adoption of new regulations concerning this still profitable activity. According to a local news outlet, the authorities have initiated a bounty program that stipulates for a sizable financial reward paid for exposing miners who are operating outside the law or trick the officials into using subsidized electricity to mine cryptocurrencies.
The announcement regarding the new policy came from Mostafa Rajabi, who works as a spokesperson for the state’s Ministry of Energy. He said that in the light of the governmental investigation regarding the unusual spikes in electricity consumption, which confirmed that a lot of miners are abusing the subsidies that the state offers to the lower-income population, the officials decided to toughen the grip by introducing a special bounty for exposing illegal miners as well those who are unjustifiably consuming huge volumes of cheaper electricity.
The authorities intend to reward the whistleblowers with as much as 20% of the total damage, afflicted on a power grid by a perpetrator. Moreover, according to the new regulation, cryptocurrency mining is going to be prohibited during the hours when the consumption of electricity by the Iranian population is at its highest. This means that the law-abiding miners will have to shut down their grids for the total duration of approximately 300 hours over the course of the year, which will surely hamper the profitability of this activity.
Rajabi also noted that the government intends to establish rigorous control over the use of subsidized electricity, and also introduce a new baseline price for each kWh in the amount of 9,650 Iranian rials or approximately $0.08. The implementation of these measures will allow the officials to calculate the cost of mining, and its load on the national power grid, in a more efficient manner.
However, this tariff will be fluctuating, depending on the time of the year. For instance, miners will have to pay the minimum price of $0.04 per kWh during the cold season, which lasts for almost eight months. But once the hot weather kicks in, which usually means that the entire country will have to survive the blistering heat, the electricity consumption will shoot through the roof due to the overuse of air conditioners and other electrical appliances for air cooling. During that time, the price of electricity will be at its highest - $0.16 for kWh.
As for those who would continue the illicit activities, they could be fined or even arrested and sentenced to jail while their mining equipment will be confiscated. But those miners who play by the rules and pay their electricity bills diligently can get an incentive in the form of government aid, especially if the mining rigs are operating on the electricity that had been obtained from renewable sources of energy.
The Iranian law enforcers had already displayed their willingness to suppress illegal mining as they had seized around one thousand mining rigs that were located at a couple of abandoned factories.
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