Official Says Nearly 10,000 Cryptocurrency Mining Devices Seized In Iran

Official Says Nearly 10,000 Cryptocurrency Mining Devices Seized In Iran

Iranian authorities have announced the seizure of 9,404 illegal cryptocurrency mining devices in Tehran since the end of March.

Kambiz Nazerian, head of Tehran Electricity Distribution Company, said on August 22 that the mining devices were discovered by inspectors in different districts of the Iranian capital.

In recent years, Iranian authorities have regularly announced the discovery of illegal cryptocurrency mining devices in different parts of the country.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are created through a process known as mining, where powerful computers compete to solve complex mathematical formulas or puzzles. The process requires vast amounts of electricity.

Some of the cryptomining units operating in Iran are reportedly based in locations such as schools and mosques that receive electricity for free.

Media reports have suggested cryptocurrency mining is increasing in Iran due to the relatively low electricity costs in the country, where it is heavily subsidized. U.S. sanctions that bar Iran from accessing the international financial system have reportedly also contributed to the increase in mining activities and the use of cryptocurrencies.

In 2018, Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear pact under then-President Donald Trump, reintroducing crippling sanctions against Iran that have led to a shrinking economy and the collapse of the national currency, the rial.

The fall in the value of Iran’s currency in recent years has made people inclined towards digital currencies.

The blockchain technology used in digital currencies allows financial transactions to be made quickly and securely while avoiding large banks.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL’s Radio Farda

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