Bitcoin miners face tougher penalties in Iran if they operate illegally

Alex Dovbnya

Iranian government plans to ramp up penalties for illegal cryptocurrency mining activities to avoid blackouts

The Iranian government is on track to introduce tougher penalties for those cryptocurrency mining activities that operate illegally, according to a report published by The Tehran Times

Mohammad Khodadadi Bohlouli, an official in the Ministry of Power Generation, says unscrupulous offenders could face jail time on top of much higher fines.

Mining operations may not use electricity intended for households and industrial subscribers.

Unauthorized crypto mining is putting more pressure on the national network. Iran’s infrastructure is in a dire state after decades of US sanctions.

In December, Iran imposed a cryptocurrency mining ban for the second time in 2021. The measure was intended to prevent power outages due to excessive energy consumption, while also freeing up power for households and commercial subscribers during the winter.

Before 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 used for illegally mining Bitcoin in an abandoned factory.

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