Whistleblowers helped Tavanir, Iran’s energy company, shut down 1,100 encrypted mining farms that allegedly operate without proper licenses.
Although Tavanir says that some miners use “large amounts” of subsidized electricity, their report makes clear that no significant changes have been observed in electricity use. Local authorities said they had to rely on whistleblowers as a result, noting that Tavanir “cannot detect all illegal farms by examining their consumption patterns alone.”
Individuals who provided information to disclose unauthorized miners were awarded 100 million riyals ($ 480) for their cooperation, according to the Financial Tribune.
Iran recently announced that industrial-scale power plants could act as miners for bitcoin – provided they do not use subsidized fuel.
The National Crypto Mining Law states that miners must disclose their identity and provide detailed information to the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade. This information includes the size of their mining operations and the type of equipment they use, and is collected to prevent smuggling into the country. Miners are defined as both individuals and companies.
Illegal cryptocurrency miners risk fines ranging from $ 2,000 to $ 5,000 for whatever device they use and an additional fine of $ 20,000 for anyone caught with a subsidized power source.
In May, Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Trade granted iMiner, a cryptocurrency mining company, a license to operate in the country. With 6000 drilling rigs, the iMiner setup has become one of the largest crypto miners in Iran.
The Iranian government approved cryptocurrency mining as an industrial activity in July 2019, and has since issued more than 1,000 licenses to cryptocurrency mining companies.