Iran is said to have given more than 1,000 licenses to cryptocurrency miners in the country.

The licenses have been issued by Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, local news outlet Financial Tribune reported Friday, citing an official from ICT Guild Organization – an Iranian NGO representing information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

The official, Amir Hossein Saeedi Naeini, said crypto mining industry has the potential to add $8.5 billion to Iran’s economy.

Iran legalized crypto mining last June; the country has long been attractive to miners due to cheap power. Miners are charged 4,800 Iranian rials (~$0.11) for one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy. During the peak summer season (June to September), however, the charges are higher at 19,300 Iranian rials (~$0.46) per kWh.

“High electricity tariffs plus stringent regulations” have made the crypto mining sector “less appealing for small investors,” according to Naeini. Therefore, a limited number of authorized mining farms are currently active in Iran, per the report.

Iran finalized the power tariffs in November, as subsidized energy previously put pressure on Iran’s national grid, causing a 7% increase in energy consumption in the country. Notably, Iran does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

Source » theblockcrypto