Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri announced on Monday the country’s cryptocurrency miners will soon have to register their rigs with the government.
- Under the directive, miners will have to disclose their identities, the size of their mining farms and their mining equipment type with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade.
- Miners will have a month to register their equipment, according to the Ministry, which will then publish a list of licensed mining centers.
- Jahangiri’s announcement is the latest in Iran’s cat-and-mouse game with the country’s illegal crypto miners, who smuggle in rigs and are sometimes caught.
- Officials said Monday they want to “eliminate the confusion of cryptocurrency activists” with the new directive. That confusion has largely been of Iran’s own making: conflicting mining policies, tariffs and laws have left miners in a gray zone for years.
- The directive will ultimately give Iran tighter control over its on-the-books miners, though it remains to be seen how much of the underground community will heed the directive. Iranian miners contributed nearly 4% of bitcoin’s hashrate in April.
- The directive did not specify the punishment for failing to register. However, illegal bitcoin miners have faced jail time and steep fines in the past.