Cryptocurrency miners in Iran could be charged with higher electricity bills should the country’s government begin calculating their electricity prices in “real prices,” according to The Financial Tribune.
Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister Homayoun Haeri is pushing for cryptocurrency miners to pay power bills at rates equivalent to those charged for electricity exports, per the report. Crypto miners would no longer be allowed to pay a subsidized price for electricity like most Iranian citizens.
The Iranian government currently pays close to $1 billion in subsidies to account for the huge gap between what Iranian households pay and the actual costs of electricity usage in the country. Subsidized energy costs can be a significant motivator for bitcoin mining operations.
While authorities in Iran prohibit the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies, sanctions imposed by the U.S. government have encouraged people in Iran to do so anyway as an alternative to fiat currency.
Another reason for Iranians’ adoption of cryptocurrencies is because in January 2017, Iran stopped using the U.S. dollar as a result of the travel ban imposed by the U.S. administration. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become viable alternatives as media of exchange.