Bitcoin’s hashrate has far surpassed all time high after much volatility this year that kept it within a range.
Now however it has taken off, reaching 143 exahashes per second in what clearly suggests there has been a huge jump in new computing power.
The reason is most likely because the Iranian state itself is now diving into crypto mining, although indirectly though the Thermal Power Plant Holding company (TPPH) which “is responsible for organizing government activities in the field of thermal power generation.”
They’re now moving to facilitate crypto mining to generate more revenue, with this state company through its network to serve crypto miners directly.
“The Necessary equipment has been installed in three power plants of Ramin, Neka, and Shahid Montazeri, and the auction documents will be uploaded on the SetadIran.ir website in the near future,” said Mohsen Tarztalab, the head of TPPH.
Iranian energy companies have been serving crypto miners since at least 2018, but this sounds more like a strategic exclusive energy service for miners.
“Unfortunately, constant price hikes and the obligation for supplying electricity with stable prices to subscribers have caused a large gap between revenues and expenditures in the country’s electricity industry, and we need new sources of income to fill this gap,” Tarztalab said.
That new source is primarily from Chinese miners who moved to Iran at some scale because initially they could tap into subsidized electricity.
Iran then changed the policy to implement a sort of special tax on miners which have to pay the circa 5 cent rate per kilowatt.
That led some to leave, but Iran is now effectively creating a sort of special energy network just for miners, with that network being outside the national grid.
This move could create a bitcoin mining boom there with the additional effect of providing Iranian businesses a method to transact internationally outside of the banking system.
That’s because getting bitcoin through mining itself doesn’t have any chokepoints. So internal bitcoin markets of scale could now easily develop in Iran with that bitcoin then easily transportable in and out of the country, so creating a trading pipeline oiled by bitcoin.
That means the sanctioning approach needs to be reconsidered with Europe in particular probably tempted to open some lines with Iran for its cheap oil which currently subsidizes China, instead of the continent.