Iran Returns Seized Crypto Mining Equipment to Miners – Mining Bitcoin News
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Iran’s governing body in charge of state assets has released some of the equipment seized from illegal crypto mining farms. Its top manager explained that the agency was ordered to do so by the Islamic Republic’s courts, where unlicensed miners have been blamed for the lack of electricity.
The Iranian authorities return the seized mining equipment to their owners
Iran’s State-Owned Assets Collection and Sale Organization (OCSSOP) has begun returning to miners some of the mining equipment seized during raids on underground crypto farms. Iranian courts ordered it to do so, the English-language Financial Tribune reported.
Quoted by the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, the organization’s director, Abdolmajid Eshtehadi, said:
Currently around 150,000 [units of] crypto mining rigs are held by OCSSOP and much of it is released after court decisions. The machines have already been returned.
The official further elaborated that the Electricity Generation, Transmission and Distribution Company of Iran (Tavanir) should present proposals on how to utilize the mining equipment without damaging the national grid.
Iran legalized cryptocurrency mining in July 2019, but has since suspended minting of the authorized coin several times, citing power shortages during the summer and winter months, when electricity consumption increases. It has also cracked down on Iranians mining illegally.
Companies wishing to mine legally must obtain licenses and import permits from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade. The equipment must be approved by the Iran Standard Organization, and miners must pay for electricity at the export price.
Cryptomining using natural gas or electricity intended for other purposes and consumers is illegal in Iran. But the number of underground miners running on cheaper, subsidized energy has grown, avoiding licensing that would force them to pay much higher tariffs.
Over the past couple of years, the state-run Tavanir has cut off the electricity supply to identified illegal mining facilities, confiscated their equipment and punished its operators for damage to the national distribution network.
As of 2020, the utility has found and shut down 7,200 unauthorized crypto mining farms. In July 2022, it vowed to crack down on unlicensed crypto miners, who were previously estimated to have burned 3.84 trillion rials ($16.5 million) worth of subsidized electricity.
The mining equipment is being released despite the Attorney General’s Office banning such moves until Iran’s parliament passes a law dealing with illegal mining. Tehran’s government approved comprehensive crypto regulations in August and began licensing mining companies under the new regulatory framework in September.
Do you think the Iranian authorities will continue to return the seized mining machines to their owners? Let us know in the comments section below.
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