Iran has drafted new regulations that will increase the penalties for illegal cryptocurrency mining in the country, including increased fines and prison sentences. “Mining cryptocurrency with subsidized electricity intended for households, industrial, agricultural, and commercial subscribers is prohibited.”
An official with Iran’s Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Company (Tavanir) said the country’s administration will approve new rules to increase penalties for unauthorized cryptocurrency mining, IRNA publication reported Sunday.
Mohammad Khodadadi Bohlouli explained that under the new law:
The increased penalties include raising fines by at least three and at most five times, imprisoning the offender, and revoking the offender’s business license.
“Any use of subsidized electricity intended for households, industrial, agricultural, and commercial subscribers for mining cryptocurrency is prohibited,” Khodadadi said.
The Iranian government approved cryptocurrency mining as an industry in 2019. In January 2020, the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade issued over 1,000 licenses for cryptocurrency mining operations.
However, Iranian authorities said that some unauthorized miners are using household electricity for cryptocurrency mining, resulting in major issues for the country’s electricity industry. In December last year, crypto miners were ordered to halt operations to prevent winter blackouts. In September, the authorities reportedly confiscated over 220,000 mining machines and shut down nearly 6,000 illegal crypto mining farms across the country.