Cryptocurrency mining in Iran is now legal, according to local press. Miners will soon have to acquire a license from the country’s Ministry of Industry to continue their operations.

Iranian miners have been embroiled in controversy after reports came out weeks ago that their operations were shut down by authorities. Citing high electricity costs, authorities were quick to curtail any efforts to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, now being squeezed by American sanctions, Iranian regulators and authorities are looking the other way.

Iranian cryptocurrency miners will soon be able to mine within the jurisdiction of the law, just requiring a license from the Ministry of Industry. The news comes only two weeks after it was revealed that the country was launching its own gold-pegged cryptocurrency.

According to the Governor for the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati:

A mechanism to mine digital coins was approved by the government’s economic commission and will later be put to discussion at a cabinet meeting.

The measure seems almost certain to be approved. If so, it would make Iran one of the few countries with licenses specifically dedicated to cryptocurrency mining.

Many mining operations have been set up in Iran due to the country’s relative cheap electricity prices. In the past month, the situation regarding these mining hubs was uncertain. The Minister of Communications and Information Technology claimed that these were Chinese miners exploiting Iran’s cheap electricity. It all started when authorities shut down two major Bitcoin mining farms in abandoned warehouses and seized 1,000 machines. The current situation signals a complete reversal of the country’s previous policy, indicating that the country is likely feeling squeezed by U.S. sanctions and needs alternatives. That’s largely why Irani is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency: to get around U.S. sanctions.

It’s unclear how much of Bitcoin’s mining power is located in Iran, but we could see an upsurge in the country as this official license is rolled out.

Do you think that some Bitcoin mining operations will relocate to Iran as a result of the license? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Want to win free Newcastle tickets? Check out our partner exchange, StormGain, to find out how.