Blockchain statistics company Elliptic’s latest study shows that Iran accounts for 4.5% of the total Bitcoin (BTC) mining operations in the world today. Using Iran’s current power consumption rate for estimation, Elliptic argues that the country is currently receiving $1 billion yearly within that sector alone.
The particular study also implies that Iran has recently doubled down on its BTC efforts as a way to bypass the current US sanctions regarding oil exports. As per the report, the US enforces an almost complete economic embargo within the country; this includes banning all Iran-based imports as well as specific sanctions on its financial institutions. With that, Iran’s oil exports dropped by more than 70% within the past decade, which then leaves the country in a state of recession with rapidly rising unemployment rates and civil disorder.
That may be, less gas leaving Iran also translates to cheaper energy for BTC miners, thus, explaining the country’s growing focus on BTC mining. This also attracts other countries, especially China, to invest in the bludgeoning Iran mining space in an effort to bypass international bans.
This recent BTC mining boom in the country also exemplifies how the crypto’s current proof-of-work consensus framework rewards the race to the bottom for cheaper energy as miners generate more money when they pay for lesser electricity consumption. However, it is also worth pointing out that the more inexpensive the power is, the dirtier it tends to be.