Briefly imposing a ban, Iran might lift its four-month crypto mining prohibition on September 22, according to reports by local English newspaper Financial Tribune.
With the country’s electrical grid suffering due to energy shortages and high temperatures, Iranian authorities imposed a four-month ban on cryptocurrency mining in May, leading several miners to shut down their operations. Many citizens took to the streets to protest against the blackouts, as reported by local news media Iran News Wire.
However, The Iran Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Company announced that it would dissolve the ban on September 22.
Cryptocurrency mining was quite popular in Iran due to the low cost of electricity there. In July 2019, Iran introduced a policy that legalized crypto mining, and miners were only required to obtain a license from the Ministry of Industry.
Currently, over 30 miners have registered with the Ministry of Industry and their electricity consumption is low compared to a host of unlicensed miners that continued to mine without registering with the authorities.
Unregistered miners consumed more than 2000-3000 megawatts of electricity per day, more than half the daily consumption of Iran’s capital city Tehran.
Before the ban, Iran accounted for 4.64% of the global mining hash rate. It boasted the fifth-highest hash rate in the world after China, the United States, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The percentage would have increased if the ban hadn’t been imposed, due to China’s clampdown on crypto mining.
The Iranian government has so far been welcoming to the cryptocurrency revolution due to economic sanctions placed on the country by the US government. At Iran’s Economic Coordination Board meeting, President Hassan Rouhani asked his government to start preparing a framework to regulate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He noted:
“For legalizing the activity of cryptocurrencies and protecting people’s capital in this area, we must think of a solution as soon as possible and lay down and communicate the necessary laws and instructions.”