The Iranian authorities will reportedly impose harsher penalties on illegal cryptocurrency miners as some operators could even go to jail. Before that, the officials banned all digital asset mining endeavors during the winter season, claiming this could reduce the pressure on the nation’s electricity network during the coldest months of the year.
Iran’s Intolerance of Crypto Miners
The government of the Asian country is known for its negative stance on the cryptocurrency mining industry. Last May, it halted all such activities for a period of four months, saying miners could cause significant disruption to the energy system. During the ban, the authorities confiscated thousands of crypto mining rigs. At one point, they seized 7,000 such machines in a single operation.
Despite allowing legal miners to resume their operations from September, the Ministry of Energy temporarily suspended their activities at the end of 2021. The ruling body maintained a similar position: crypto mining will overload the electricity network, so it needs to be prohibited.
With temperatures starting rising in March this year, the government revealed intentions to remove the ban. The Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade, though, said it will permit only those enterprises that use renewable energy sources to power their supercomputers.
A recent report by The Tehran Times disclosed that sanctions for those operating without authorization or using a different type of energy than the aforementioned could be severe. Specifically, the government plans to increase the fines by a minimum of three and a maximum of five times and even send illicit miners behind bars.
“Any use of subsidized electricity, intended for households, industrial, agricultural, and commercial subscribers, for mining cryptocurrency is prohibited,” Mohammad Bohlouli – a Tavanir executive – reiterated.
Similar to the previous warnings, the official claimed that misusing subsidized electricity to mine digital assets reduces the quality of the energy supply in the national grid and “damages peoples’ electrical appliances such as televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, and so on.”
Kazakhstan’s Stance on Crypto Miners
It is worth observing how the second-largest bitcoin miner in terms of global hash rate – Kazakhshtan – treats its mining sector. Last week, the country’s authorities disclosed intentions to tax miners depending on the valuation of the primary digital asset. Alibek Kuantyrov – Vice Minister of National Economy – believes the initiative will improve 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.”