Iran is going through a bit of a crisis at the moment, as the US tightens the screws on the country’s economy. After several attacks on ships just off the coast of Iran and the downing of a US drone, tensions between the two nations are at an all-time high. Iranians have been turning to Bitcoin as a way to keep the economy going, but the government has been clamping down on miners as the nation is running woefully low on power.
In a bid to skirt around the government’s tough stance against crypto miners, Iranians have been setting up mining rigs inside mosques that enjoy free electricity under current legislation.
Mosques receive free energy in Iran. Iranians have set up Bitcoin miners in them. There’s around 100 here, producing around $260,000 USD a year. This money goes a long way in Iran’s choked sanctioned economy. https://t.co/fczwdqCPAd
— mahsa alimardani 🌒 (@maasalan) June 26, 2019
Iran Confiscating Mining Rigs
In a bid to curtail the energy consumption in the country from these mining operations, the Iranian government has raided multiple sites that have seen a significant increase in power usage over the past few months – a key sign of crypto mining. So far, the government has seized over 1,000 crypto mining rigs, enough to mine hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin.
Will Iran Drop its Crypto Mining Water Park?
After the harsh actions of the government seizing these crypto mining rigs, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the country axed its plans for a huge bitcoin mining farm cross water park. The plans for a 560-meter high water park that housed a crypto mining farm on the inside was published in the 2019 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, but sadly it didn’t win any medals. While the idea is novel, it would be a tough engineering feat even if the country wasn’t under such tough sanctions from the US.
Recognizing Bitcoin as Currency
In a bid to draw in more tourists and keep the country’s economy going, the government has said that Bitcoin is now a recognized currency in the country. Visa and MasterCard have both axed the country from their list of countries that they operate in, meaning tourists need alternative payment methods. There are even tourism websites that allow you to book hotels, excursions and activities in Iran all using Bitcoin – quite the novel idea.
While people try to escape a crippling financial situation, the government continues to clamp down on miners. If people carry on abusing the free power in mosques to mine Bitcoin then we could see the Iranian government renege on its deal with the mosques. This would then put additional financial pressure on mosques and force them to collect donations in order to keep the lights on and prayers broadcast to the surrounding areas.