Iranian crypto miners and traders may have to pay the full price for their electricity usage anytime soon. This is in line with a statement made by the Iranian energy minister, Homayoun Haeri, in Tehran last weekend.
The minister suggested that all crypto miners and traders be billed their real costs of electricity, the Financial Tribune reports.
The government of Iran is one of the few in the world who subsidizes electricity for its citizens. Iranian entities and individuals pay a small fraction of the total costs for the electricity they use. Per the report, the government of Iran reportedly spends up to 1 billion dollars annually to fill the huge difference in real energy costs and the power bills received by residents in Iran.
Before now, there have been pleas by the Iranian government for residents to be frugal with energy resources. According to the reports from the Tehran Times, Iran is facing a growing demand for electricity. This has led to the Energy Ministry researching and creating new plans in recent times to manage power consumption. The plan is to reduce the electricity losses in the national grid.
According to a report compiled by Mohammad Hassan Motevalizadeh, the managing director of TAVANIR, Iran’s power sector requires six quadrillion rials (near $142.8 billion) to keep the nation’s power infrastructure up with the growing demand. This has led to attempts to make adjustments to consumption patterns. Specifically, electricity tariffs have been suggested as solutions to reduce the rate of consumption in the country.
Still, asides the quest to reduce the rate of electricity consumption in Iran, there are speculations that this suggested move to make crypto businesses to pay for their own electricity, is a quest to quell the crypto market in Iran.
This move by the government is suspected to be part of concerted efforts by Iran to totally ban the mining and trading of cryptocurrency in their space. The move is quite ironic as the Iranian government was reported to be considering creating its state-issued stablecoin, some few months back. At the time, a local news outlet had quoted a high-level government official saying:
“We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country. This currency would facilitate the transfer of money (to and from) anywhere in the world. Besides, it can help us at the time of sanctions.”
Global Clampdown on Iranian Customers
Recall that Localbitcoins and a few other crypto businesses dumped Iran users from their platform. These continuous harassment and the new suggestion to make crypto miners pay the real costs for their electricity and the US sanctions the Iranian crypto market received recently may all be comprehensive efforts adopted to stifle the Iranian cryptocurrency market.
Still, there are predictions that despite these limitations, the adoption of cryptocurrencies could grow bigger than it is right now. The reason for this optimism is that the restrictions are sparking more local interest in the digital currency as a confirmed substitute to fiat. Last year, some Iranian students studying in the UK started using crypto to circumvent fiat currency restrictions, as a couple of them had problems receiving money from home to pay their tuition.