The Iranian government will allow licensed miners to resume operations today after a three-month ban imposed by former President Hassan Rouhani on May 26, 2021.
The first ban was imposed due to concerns about the stability of the country’s unreliable electricity grid.
The Middle Eastern country suffered major blackouts in the summer, which former President Rouhani attributed to the sweltering heat. Sometimes the temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or roughly 49 degrees Celsius.
In light of power cuts and water shortages, Rouhani decided to ban crypto mining during the heat wave so that residents could keep their air conditioners running, despite doubts being expressed about how much electricity crypto-mining actually uses in the country. When the heat subsides and Ibrahim Raisi takes office on August 3, 2021, the cryptocurrency ban will be lifted.
An estimated 4.5% to 7% of the world’s cryptocurrency mining takes place in Iran. It may come as a bit of a surprise that Iran boasts some of the cheapest electricity prices in the world thanks to its many fossil resources such as natural gas.
There are some reports that the country is viewing Bitcoin mining favorably as a way to avoid US sanctions. Currently, Iran is suffering from an almost complete blockade of the United States, which negatively affects the country’s economy. According to the current estimated production levels in Iran, Elliptic’s revenue via Reuters is estimated at around $1 billion.
Despite the ban, underground mining had to continue, and on Wednesday news broke that Ali Sahraei, director of the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE), had resigned after state media reported that cryptocurrency mining was taking place on the exchange during the ban.
At first, TSE management denied the existence of production, but later Executive Vice President Beheshti-Sarsht admitted that TSE should be responsible for this process.