“Mosques receive free energy in Iran. Iranians have set up Bitcoin miners in them. There’s around 100 here, producing around $260,000 USD a year. This money goes a long way in Iran’s choked sanctioned economy.”
“Bitcoin miners will be identified and their electricity will be cut,” said Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, a spokesman for Iran’s Ministry of Energy, adding that crypto mining “is making the grid unstable and causing problems for other users.”
Thus the authenticity of what was originally claimed to be bitcoin miners in a mosque (pictured), was questioned with some Iranians saying it’s a converted factory while others say it’s not in Iran at all.
Regardless, the Ministry spokesman says that electricity consumption in Iran has increased by seven percent in the monthly period ending on June 21, 2019, claiming “a bulk of that unusual increase is because of the activity of bitcoin miners.”
Iran Going Bitcoin?
Iran begun courting bitcoin miners last year after a working group was set up by Iran’s parliament to look at “mining of virtual currencies,” with it unclear whether they meant the government is to do so or whether they were looking into allowing the private sector to do so.
Reports then followed of mining operations being set-up, with it now appearing to be going mainstream.
The government’s response in seizing these machines is curious and potentially intentionally confusing because presumably the government would rather not be seen as facilitating bitcoin mining.
In Venezuela, however, when the government seizes bitcoin machines, they usually turn them on themselves and so gain some government “income” from bitcoin mining.
With Iran under sanctions, bitcoin and other cryptos like eth could allow both the citizenry and the government to engage in some international trade especially with friendly countries to Iran like Russia or China.
Bitcoin Sharia Compliant
A debate in the muslim world on whether bitcoin is Sharia compliant was settled when an analysis concluded “Blockchain gives you mathematical proof of ownership and that’s overall much more in line with the spirit of Islamic finance than any digital fiat money.”
Following this declaration, a Mosque begun accepting bitcoin donations, receiving four times more in crypto than in fiat.
If bitcoins are mined in a mosque, therefore, it wouldn’t contravene any religious laws since it would be like having a computer in a mosque classroom, but if such mining is business like activity rather than a charity method of funding mosque related activities, then that might be a bit different.
Questions further might be raised on the role subsidized electricity might play in bitcoin mining both from a global strategic perspective and where decentralization is concerned.
Students in the west are known to mine in their university halls, with industry mining now so big, they usually set up their own hydro-powered energy supply.