30 Cryptomining Units Have License
EghtesadOnline: The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has issued license for 30 cryptomining units, according to the figures published on ministry website.
Semnan Province accounts for the largest number with six licensed crypto farms. Alborz Province has four followed by Mazandaran, East Azarbaijan and Zanjan provinces.
Only one cryptomining center is authorized to operate in Tehran Province.
The ministry has also issued 2,579 establishment permits, 305 for Zanjan Province. Fars Province with 262 permits and West Azarbaijan with 247 are ranked after.
An operation license is mandatory for starting a legal mining business. Eligible applicants acquire the establishment permit and set up their industrial unit within 12 months and then apply for the operation license.
Mining virtual currency is legal in Iran and miners are allowed to operate under rules approved by the government in July 2019.
While cryptomining is accepted by the government as legal, illegal farms have cropped up with increasing speed using subsidized electricity because they must pay much higher tariffs if they operate with a permit.
In April the Energy Ministry revised cryptomining rules as per which 16,574 rials is charged for one kilowatt-hour of electricity.
Rates double during restrictions like when power plants do not receive enough gas as feedstock or the national grid faces problems supplying households.
President Hassan Rouhani recently ordered a ban on all cryptomining units until the end of summer to alleviate pressure on the national grid.
As a result many Iranians have shifted their cryptomining activities underground, which has become a source of serious concern for the main utility -- the Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir).
It has started shutting illegal cryptomining centers as pressure mounts on the power network.
On Tuesday, the largest illegal crypto mining farm in the country was shut. More than 7,000 cryptomining hardware pieces were seized by law enforcement officers. The farm was using about 4% of the country's total power production. No details were available.
According to Tavanir, more than 188,000 mining equipment was seized in the past 12 months. The equipment reportedly caused 180 trillion rials in damage to the national grid and power distribution equipment.