Iran’s government plans to ramp up penalties for illegal cryptocurrency mining operations to avoid blackouts
Iran’s government is on track to introduce more stringent penalties for those cryptocurrency mining operations that operate illegally, according to a report published by The Tehran Times.
Mohammad Khodadadi Bohlouli, an official at the Ministry of Power Generation, says that unscrupulous offenders may face jail time on top of much higher fines.
Mining operations are prohibited from using electricity intended for households and industrial subscribers.
Unauthorized crypto mining exerts more pressure on the national grid. Iran’s infrastructure is in a decrepit state after decades of U.S. sanctions.
In December, Iran imposed a ban on cryptocurrency mining for the second time in 2021. The move was meant to prevent blackouts caused by excessive energy consumption while freeing up power for households and commercial subscribers during winter.
Prior to that, the Iranian government announced a four-month moratorium on cryptocurrency mining in May. It was temporarily lifted in September.
As reported by U.Today, the Tehran Stock Exchange became embroiled in a cryptocurrency scandal after an illegal Bitcoin mining operation was discovered at its headquarters. The head of the exchange had to resign due to backlash.
Last June, Iran seized 7,000 Bitcoin mining machines that were used for illegally mining Bitcoin at an abandoned factory.