State media in the Islamic Republic of Iran has claimed that the local government has seized more than 1,000 bitcoin mining devices from two separate factories.
Reuters reported on this development, adding that local officials have claimed that the operations running this hardware used subsidized power.
There has been a large amount of interest in Bitcoin among Iranians, particularly following U.S. sanctions restricting the nation’s access to the world economy. Ziya Sadr, an Iranian bitcoiner and Lightning Torch holder, has called the technology “a safe haven.”
Nevertheless, Iranian cryptocurrency adoption has suffered a variety of setbacks in 2019, both from internal and external sources. Not only has LocalBitcoins.com shut down all operations in the country for fear of unintentionally violating the U.S. sanctions, but the government has issued a stern warning to bitcoin miners in the country. The Iranian state subsidizes energy use to allow its citizens to enjoy a higher standard of living. However, potential bitcoin miners were told that the state would not look favorably upon the use of this cheap energy for bitcoin mining.
Additional reports from RadioFreeEurope claim that Iranian Energy Ministry Spokesman Mostafa Rajabi saw a 7 percent spike in Iran’s total energy consumption last month and that he blames cryptominers for a large share of this spike. The nation’s deputy energy minister also claimed that mining was taking place in locations where the state provided entirely free electricity, such as schools and places of worship.
Landon Manning is a freelance writer for Bitcoin Magazine.