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Unlicensed Crypto Miners Will Face Heavy Penalties In Iran

Unlicensed crypto miners will face harsher penalties, according to sources, with some operators facing prison time. Previously, officials had made it illegal to mine digital assets during the winter months, claiming that this would reduce demand on the country’s electrical system during the coldest months of the year.

The Asian country’s government is well-known for its anti-cryptocurrency mining stance. In May, it put a four-month moratorium on all such activities, citing the potential of significant interruption to the energy grid presented by miners. Hundreds of crypto mining computers were seized by authorities during the ban. They managed to capture 7,000 of these computers in a single operation.

The Ministry of Energy has temporarily prohibited licenced miners from operating until the end of 2021, with the possibility of resuming operations in September. According to the regulatory authority, cryptocurrency mining would overload the electrical network and so should be prohibited.

When temperatures began to rise in March of this year, the administration announced preparations to eliminate the prohibition. The Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade, on the other hand, has declared that it will only allow enterprises to use renewable energy to power their supercomputers.

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According to a recent piece in The Tehran Times, sanctions for individuals operating without authority or using a different type of energy than the aforementioned could be severe. The government aims to boost fines by at least three and up to five times, as well as imprison unlawful miners.

“Any use of subsidized electricity, intended for households, industrial, agricultural, and commercial subscribers, for mining cryptocurrency is prohibited,” Tavanir executive Mohammad Bohlouli underlined.

According to the official, using subsidized power to mine digital assets impairs the quality of the national grid’s energy supply and “damages people’s electrical equipment such as televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, and so on.”

It’s worth considering how Kazakhstan, the world’s second-largest bitcoin miner by hash rate, manages its mining sector. Officials in the government stated last week that they intend to tax miners based on the value of the major digital asset. Alibek Kuantyrov, Vice Minister of National Economy, believes the endeavor will benefit the state budget:

“We are considering increasing the tax burden for miners, at the moment we are also considering linking the tax rate for miners to the value of the cryptocurrency. If the cryptocurrency grows, it will be good for the budget.”