Totalitarian action! We move from China to Iran, where the government is has upped its curb on crypto by going after mining rigs that are operating illegally in the country.
In the latest such action, Iranian police has reportedly seized 7,000 Bitcoin mining machines that were found in an abandoned factory west of the capital. This makes for the country largest seizer of cryptocurrency mining rigs to date.
The state news agency, IRNA, reported this on Tuesday, with Tehran police chief General Hossein Rahimi detailing the raid.
This latest bust follows one earlier this month where Iran seized 3,000 Bitcoin mining devices in a week. In addition to this, over 500 devices were confiscated in Tehran province — where law enforcement officers have already shut down 183 illegal crypto mining farms.
The past fiscal year alone has seen about 11,000 mining units being confiscated.
Cryptocurrency mining is an authorized activity in Iran, though it is not a free for all affair. Miners are required to obtain a license from the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade. However, authorities claim that there are countless miners operating in Iran without obtaining a license.
Iran has also mandated that Bitcoin miners must sell their BTC directly to the central bank, which will then be used to fund imports. Commercial banks and currency exchangers have also been authorized to use Bitcoin legally mined in the country to pay for imports.
As a result of these policies, and availability of cheap electricity, crypto mining is growing in the Middle East country.
An analysis by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic has revealed that about 4.5% of all Bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, and the country is using the cryptocurrency to circumvent sanctions.
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