Iranian lawmakers recently drafted a bill to “support cryptocurrency mining and organizing the domestic market for exchanges.”
Inside the Bill
The plan involves making the Central Bank of Iran the primary regulatory body regarding the domestic exchange of cryptocurrencies within three months. This includes plans to prohibit the exchange of any cryptocurrency within the country, aside from a national one, as means of payment.
A particularly interesting section of the bill states that domestic crypto miners will be controlled by the Ministry of Industry. Miners must be granted a license from the ministry to operate, as well as a license from the Energy Ministry to construct power plants required to run their operations- which allegedly caused blackouts by draining the city of its electricity supply in May.
Miners will be permitted to sell any excess energy that they generate- a great deal considering that over 4% of global bitcoin mining was estimated to be done in Iran.
Iran’s Approach to Miners
Like China, Iran is on a similar course of substituting cryptocurrencies with a CBDC such as the digital yuan.
Such a currency would give the authoritarian governments greater surveillance and control of their citizen’s money, which is antithetical to the value of “decentralization” which most crypto enthusiasts hold- including Bitcoin users.
This is in line with a temporary ban that Iran issued on crypto mining in late May in response to the blackouts. The ban forbids even household mining operations and is set to last until September of 2021.
Before this, Iran was considered a hotspot for mining operations due to its relatively cheap electricity supply.