An Iranian official stated that Iranians must choose between electricity and pollution, while Iran’s Chairman of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce admitted that Chinese, Polish and Indian companies had official bitcoin mining permits.

According to the state-run Entekhab website, Isa Kalantari, the Head of Iran’s Department of Environment said yesterday, “We have to choose between electricity and pollution.”

“5,000 megawatts of electricity are produced by burning mazut. That is why power plants, located in the outskirts of cities, still burn mazut,” Kalantari added.

Mazut is a carcinogenic low quality fuel oil used to run power plants, which causes dangerous levels of air pollution. Despite the use of mazut at powerplants, cities in Iran have experienced unannounced blackouts.

When faced with popular discontent about the dangerous levels of pollution, especially in the capital, relevant officials told Iranians they had to choose between pollution and power outages.

Kalantari said the reason behind the gas shortage was that according to the Oil Minister, Iranians were using 15% more gas this year.

“Considering the problems, we have to choose between electricity and pollution. For me, clean air is more important,” he added.

This is while Majidreza Hariri, the Chairman of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce said in addition to Chinese companies, Polish and Indian companies had official permits for bitcoin mining in Iran.

“The Polish, Chinese and Indians have setup bitcoin farms in Iran. They have official permits,” he said.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency, the value of which is rising. Today, a single bitcoin is worth more than 39,000 USD.

“Farming” or “mining” bitcoin is a way to earn cryptocurrency without paying money for it. Essentially, “farmers” are awarded bitcoin for verifying transactions in bitcoin.

Bitcoin farming requires a lot of energy. In fact, farming bitcoin on a large scale requires thousands of computers as well as cooling systems, which are grouped together in centers called “bitcoin farms.”

This means that bitcoin farms can make the most money in countries where electricity is produced in abundance and at a low cost, which is the case in Iran. A kilowatt of electricity produced in Germany costs 0.15 euros, while it only costs 0.018 euros in Iran.

Majidreza Hariri said official bitcoin farms were legally permitted to use less than 1% of the country’s produced power.

He stressed that this amount was for official bitcoin farms and not those working under the pretense of “chicken farms” or factories.

He added if bitcoin mining was done according to legal agreements, then issue of the” Chinese being behind recent blackouts or pollution” cannot be true.

On January 8, a spokesman for Iran’s Electricity Industry, Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, said one of the main factors behind the increasing usage of electricity in Iran was “mining of virtual currencies”.

On January 13, Mahmoud Vaezi, Chief of Staff of Iran’s President, said the Intelligence Ministry should deal decisively with mining of digital currencies.

“It’s wrong to say the government is mining bitcoin. The government does not intervene with such issues,” Vaezi said.

On January 28, Coindesk, a news website specializing in bitcoin and other digital currencies, wrote “Iran is trying to make crypto mining a source of income for the state, while cracking down on miners.”

The regime, seeing crypto mining as a way to generate state-income and compensate for the crumbling economy, has been requiring miners to register with the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade and pay a higher tariff on electricity than retail or industrial users last year.

Source » irannewswire