Iranian government seizes the chance as Chinese miners seek new location

11 Apr, 2019 | Updated: 11 Apr, 2019
by Fifi Arisandi
Mining
Iranian government seizes the chance as Chinese miners seek new location

Chinese Bitcoin miners are moving out of their country, seeking for new locations, one of them is Iran. 

With the recent enforcement of the cryptocurrency mining ban by the Chinese government, Bitcoin miners in the country make up their mind to move their business away from the reach of their government.

Read more: How will China's Bitcoin mining ban affect crypto?

Among the top relocation destinations is Iran, the middle-eastern country that’s currently struggling due to the economic embargo yet is known for its incredibly cheap power cost.

With abundant resources of clean natural gas, Iran offers an incredibly cheap power cost. According to 8BTC, the electricity cost is $0.006 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is way cheaper compared to China’s $0.015 per kWH in summer and $0.04 per kWh in winter.

That said, building a mining farm in the Persian country is not as easy as anyone thought it would be, at least according to Liu Feng, who runs a Bitcoin farm with 20,000 units of Antminer T9.

“If you want to invest in power plants in Iran, the government there will supply free natural gas for the first five years, which further lowers the electricity cost. Gasoline costs only 0.6 yuan ($0.09) per liter and diesel 0.4 yuan ($0.06) per liter. Labor cost is also quite cheap,” said Liu.

Having said that, his journey to set up his mining farm in Iran has seen more troubles than profits, so far.

“Because of the country’s huge electricity subsidy, the government has added this energy-hungry device to the list of 2,000 banned shipments to come in. The risk of miners being detained and confiscated at the border is quite high. It’s said that Iranian customs have so far confiscated at least 40,000 crypto mining rigs of varied models,” he added.

But, that’s not all. Despite his success of importing 3,000 units of T9, the unfamiliarity with local businesses has bumped him into another problem.

“I found a power plant and they could offer electricity at 0.06 yuan ($0.009) per kilowatt-hour. After deducting the operation costs, we agreed on a 70/30 profit split. But two months later, the power plant claimed a 50/50 split and doubled the electricity price offer,” Liu told his story.

His first mining farm ended up with him selling all his mining equipment.

On his second attempt, the miners were confiscated after local residents reported Liu’s mining farm due to “noise pollution”.

However, the situation has changed, according to He, a director of a big firm in the country.

The Iranian government has establish a cloud computing industrial park within the bonded zone, in which mining equipment import/export are allowed and even tariff-free.

“Mining investors need to pay a certain amount of refundable electricity deposit to the Iran’s state grid. Small and medium-sized miners could apply to enter the industrial park in group,” said He.

He added, “With nearly 900 megawatt of power, the cloud computing industrial park can hold 500,000 to 600,000 mining machines, possibly the largest mining farm.”

As of now, there are approximately more than 10,000 rigs operating in the park, He closed his statement.

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