Iran’s Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) has reportedly shut down 1,100 unlicensed cryptocurrency mining farms in the country after being tipped off by whistleblowers.

According to a report by the Financial Tribune, the firm is planning to reward whistleblowers with 100 million rials ($480) for cooperating with energy officials in identifying illegal cryptocurrency mining operations.

While the firm monitors energy consumptions to weed out those mining cryptoassets without a proper license, Tavanir spokesman Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi clarified that often it cannot detect mining operations merely using consumptions patterns, adding some miners install equipment at industrial and agricultural units already using high levels of subsidized energy.

He added:

Therefore Tavanir’s monitoring reveals no significant change in consumption of this particular category.

Iran officially legalized cryptocurrency mining in July 2019, and has since then issued 624 mining farm permits. Data from the Financial Tribune suggests miners in the country pay 4,800 rials ($0.01) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy, but during the summer season the price increases to 19,300 rials ($0.05) per kWh.

In a bid to incentivized legal mining operations, electricity prices during these high periods can be cut to up to 47%. While various miners are allowed to operate in the country, they are not allowed to use subsidized energy to mine cryptocurrencies.

Fines for mining cryptocurrency without a license can go up to $5,000 per each piece of mining hardware used, while using subsidized electricity could set miners back $20,000. To help find illegal cryptocurrency mining farms, the Iranian government started offering bounties to those who expose them.

Featured image via Pixabay.