In an effort to combat the Iranian government’s stringent measures on energy consumption, Bitcoin miners in that country have decided to move their mining rigs into mosques.
Mahsa Alimardani, an Oxford University researcher, revealed this development in her tweet, which went viral. Mosques in Iran are usually provided with free energy — which is what the miners want. Currently, 100 miners are believed to be camping on various places of worship, generating a substantial income — estimated around $260,000 annually.
Alimardani specifically wrote this on Twitter:
“Mosques receive free energy in Iran. Iranians have set up Bitcoin miners in them…..This money goes a long way in Iran’s choked sanctioned economy,”
Even with the worsening economic situation, Iran still relies on an uncoordinated cryptocurrency policy.
In April, people holding cryptocurrencies were affected when the authorities decided to bar Iranian citizens from holding amounts exceeding €10,000 outside of the existing banking institutions. Last year, even after saying that they would soon launch their own digital token, the central bank went ahead to forbid lenders from servicing their crypto businesses officially.
On Tuesday, 1,000 miners were seized allegedly contributing to a 7% spike in energy consumption following their bitcoin mining activity.
An official from the Yazd province’s energy industry, Arash Navab, told the state television;
“Two of these bitcoin farms have been identified, with a consumption of one megawatt.”
Before this energy crackdown, Tehran used to recognize domestic cryptocurrency mining industry’s contribution to the country.
Although sustainable energy sources are mostly used in bitcoin mining, researchers still warn that the mining process could be environmentally damaging.
Just this week, a US firm made plans to build a solar-powered farm — which would make California be the home of the largest such farm in North America.