Iran Rewarding Illegal Crypto Mining Whistleblowers

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  • Illegal crypto mining operations in Iran are being reported by whistleblowers in return for financial rewards
  • The scheme, announced last month, has resulted in 1,100 illegal operations already being shut down
  • Licensed crypto miners have complained about high energy costs

Authorities in Iran have started handing out rewards to whistleblowers who report illegal crypto mining operations, resulting in over 1,000 being shut down since July. The news shows that the recently-announced scheme to reward those who report illegal crypto mining operations is succeeding, allowing the country to ensure that its licensing operation remains the sole method of crypto mining in the country.

1,100 Illegal Crypto Mining Operations Reported

With the help of whistleblowers, the Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) has identified and shuttered 1,100 unlicensed crypto mining farms since the whistleblower scheme was introduced last month. Rewards of up to 100 million rials ($480) have been handed out to individuals who have reported lawless mining centers to authorities, in a show that Iran is very serious about its desires to root out illegal crypto mining.

Tavanir added that while the whistleblower programme has led to quicker identification and closure of illegal miners, the agency’s own programme of monitoring energy patterns across the country has led them to track down lawbreakers just as effectively. However, miners have begun targeting already high-usage industrial and agricultural units that use high levels of subsidized electricity.

As Tavanir spokesman Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi explained to the Fars news agency, this means that “Tavanir’s monitoring reveals no significant change in consumption of this particular category”, requiring whistleblowers’ to help catch them.

Licensed Miners Complain About Electricity Costs

Illegal crypto mining first came to the government’s attention last year when Tavanir reported an increasing amount of subsidized electricity was being used for the practice. Miners using subsidized electricity were warned that their supply would be cut off if they didn’t stop. Legitimate miners were given a tax break last September as the authorities warmed to the idea of earning Bitcoin as a sideline, since when licenses have been issued for those wishing to pursue the practice.

However, many have since complained about the high power tariffs imposed on them and have gone back underground to try and deceive the utility companies.