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.
iMiner, a Turkey-based company, has been granted a license to mine cryptocurrencies in Iran.
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.
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.
Iran Licenses $7.3 Million Bitcoin Mining Enterprise, Move Aimed at Easing U.S. Sanctions
Iran has issued a bitcoin mining license to Iminer, a Turkish-based company. Iminer will operate up to 6,000 rigs, with a computing power of 96,000 terahash per second (TH/s) in total.
According to media reports, the miner has spent $7.3 million setting up the mining facility, located in Iran’s central city of Semnan. It is the biggest mining farm in Iran, say reports, as the country seeks to leverage bitcoin to ease the impact of U.S economic sanctions.
The license granted by Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade has also allowed Iminer to offer trading and custody services in the Middle East country.
The 7-year old Turkish company considers itself experienced “in bitcoin mining and investing in the mining sector”, as per its website. Operating the Aladdin range of cryptocurrency mining machines, Iminer claims to have operations spanning five countries – Turkey, Russia, the U.S, Canada, and Iran – and over 300 staff.
Miners from as far afield as Ukraine and China are flocking to Iranian shores, drawn by the Islamic state’s cheap electricity. But the Iranian government’s attraction to bitcoin is both political and economic, primarily motivated by the desire of financial freedom from U.S. governmental overreach.
Until only last year when mining received official recognition as an industrial activity, the government appeared suspicious of cryptocurrencies, worried about their ability to bypass central authority in financial transactions. However, Iran has issued more than 1,000 crypto mining licenses ever since.
Iran, the world’s third-largest oil producer, is hoping to leverage bitcoin to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions, which have severely deciminated the petro-dollar, the economy’s lifeblood. As of right now, the U.S dollar dominates global financial transactions.