Iran to Issue Fines for Crypto Miners Using Household Electricity

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In Brief
  • Iranian government will also make any miners found using household electricity to pay for damages to the electricity network.

  • Reports indicate that Iran is at risk of blackouts and other outages if mining continues.

  • Iran's decision comes amid reports about EZ Blockchain using flared natural gas for cryptocurrency mining operation.

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The Iranian government is hardening its stance on cryptocurrency mining as it announces anyone caught using household electricity to do it will face heavy fines.

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According to reports, the fine is not the only penalty any household miners will face, either. They will also be required to pay compensatory fees for damage caused to the electricity network.

More specifically, unauthorized crypto mining causes electrical supply issues, on account of the damage it causes to the local power grid and transformers.

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Reports indicate that if mining continues at the current rate, the consequent damage could lead to blackouts and other outages.

The government in Iran first approved cryptocurrency mining as an industrial activity back in 2019. A surge in the number of crypto miners in the country followed, taking advantage of Iran’s low-cost electricity. Also following the government’s decision, power plants in the country spied an opportunity for increased income.

With this in mind, plus concerns about the detriment crypto mining causes the electricity industry that came soon after, some power plants offered their excess electrical energy to crypto miners specifically.

The government gave permission to power plants to mine for cryptocurrencies in their own right in July 2020. 

Energy efficient mining methods

Iran’s announcement comes as the toll crypto mining takes on the environment is also addressed in other countries. While some, such as regions in China, a center for cryptocurrency mining, have turned to hydroelectricity, others, like the United States, have had other ideas. Namely, flared natural gas, according to one report.

EZ Blockchain reportedly has shipping containers across the United States, in which hundreds of computers mine cryptocurrency. All of them powered by flared natural gas. However, the report is quick to reveal that using natural gas does not completely eliminate the damaging carbon emissions.

Cryptocurrency mining has a large annual carbon footprint of approximately 37 million tons of carbon emissions, according to data. 

As such, companies have been trying to turn to renewable energy sources to keep their mining operations environmentally friendly. Two major joint ventures have already been announced this year. The first between Argo Blockchain PLC and DMG Blockchain Solutions, who revealed their collaboration on Terra Pool back in March.

They declared that this would be the first Bitcoin (BTC) mining pool to run on clean energy if successful.

The second announcement came a month later. In the form of a partnership between Neptune Digital Assets Corp. and Link Global Technologies. Together, they declared plans for a renewable energy-run mining facility, situated in Alberta, Canada.

Specifically, a company statement indicated that the site will use solar and wind power, as well as small amounts of natural gas.

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Dale Hurst is a journalist, presenter, and novelist. Before joining the Be In Crypto team, he was an editor and senior journalist at a news, lifestyle and human-interest magazine in the UK. Cryptocurrency was one of the first subjects he specialized in when first going freelance in 2018, reviewing exchanges and analysing lawsuits.

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