Iran Issues License for Nation’s Biggest Bitcoin Mining Operation
iMiner, a Turkey-based company, has been granted a license to mine cryptocurrencies in Iran.
Local news source Tabnak news reported on April 28 that iMiner has the green light from the nation's Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade to operate up to 6,000 mining rigs in the city of Semnan.
The mining company has so far spent 311 billion rials ($7.3 million) on setting up the biggest mining operation in the country to date.
The ministry has also allowed the firm to begin offering cryptocurrency trading and custody from within the country, as per the report.
According to iMiner's website, the company is the "first and largest bitcoin mining and extraction system in Iran" currently with 2,000 mining machines already hosted on its local site, with additional operations in Russia, Canada, Turkey and the U.S.
It comes at a time when interest for bitcoin mining is building and low subsidized Iranian power rates attract investment from countries like China and France as well as an increasing price in bitcoin's market value.
Up until mid-2019, the state sought to crack down on mining operations out of fear of cryptocurrency's potential ability to undermine the national fiat currency, even threatening jail time for infractions.
However, Iran's cabinet had a change of heart last July and introduced legislation making crypto mining an official industrial activity. Since then, the mining ministry has been actively regulating the space, reportedly issuing around 1,000 licenses to local operations in January.
The expansion of crypto mining operations can also be viewed as an attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions that have been hurting the country's economy since long before U.S. President Donald Trump came to power.
Iran has been tackling with the issue of hyper-inflation as the country's parliament and lawmakers voted to amend the Monetary and Banking Act of Iran on Monday, which would see the nation's currency renamed as the toman, a unit worth about 10,000 rials.