Iranian Bitcoin miners are starting to utilise free energy given to nationwide mosques in order to mine cryptocurrency, according to Oxford University researcher Mahsa Alimardani.
Iran reportedly now has 100 miners situated in mosques around the country, earning an estimated annual income of around $260,000.
“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,” Alimardani wrote on Twitter.
The move comes just days after the Iranian government cut off power to cryptocurrency mining rigs until new energy prices are approved.
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’s position on cryptocurrency remains ambiguous, with reports in May claiming that LocalBitcoin’s decision to remove Iranian listings was down to US sanctions.
In April, Reuters also reported that Iranian citizens were forbidden from holding more than €10,000 outside of banks, raising question marks about potential cryptocurrency holdings.
Another Twitter user named Mahdi, who initially posted images of a Bitcoin mining rig in a mosque, claimed that “100 percent of mining equipment was smuggled into the country”.
He continued: “The good thing is that the supervisor accepts everything. They choose the number of devices. Until now, the power department did not work for anyone, but now the conditions are different and there is a good deal.”
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