The Iranian Presidential Center for Strategic Studies, in a detailed report (PDF), is encouraging the country to adopt Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies mining to bypass international sanctions, Iran Wire reports.
The center with close ties to President Hassan Rouhani wants the state to leverage digital assets’ untraceable nature to outsmart the sanctions.
According to the report, extracting new cryptocurrencies can also provide economic benefits to several sectors. The center estimates that the cryptocurrency sector can generate $2 million a day and $700 million a year in revenue from mining alone.
“As the newly extracted Bitcoins are not easily traceable, despite the pressure of sanctions on the country, domestic economic actors can use newly-extracted cryptocurrencies, which are preferable to exist bitcoins, on international exchanges,” the report notes.
Support for the mining sector
Simultaneously, the think tank believes providing a friendly environment for mining facilities will create more employment opportunities. It stresses the need to ensure the country has enough power supply to cater to mining activities.
The center also recommends the government be flexible on cryptocurrencies and support collective mining. It urges the state to set up mining pools in the proximity of power plants while adopting a single policy for all cryptocurrency miners. The authors state that:
“If large mining farms are established the need to employ manpower for monitoring and repair, security, electrical engineers and technical staff related to hardware and software equipment will increase, which leads to more job opportunities in other sectors.”
Furthermore, the extensive publication calls on the Iranian government to consider enacting comprehensive cryptocurrency regulations. The authors note that a controlled crypto environment will potentially prevent the foreign currency from leaving the country.
Iran’s crackdown on private miners
The report comes in the backdrop of a massive crackdown by Iranian authorities on independent miners accused of causing power outages. To an extent, the report is hypocritical since the country is moving to prohibit private, unlicensed cryptocurrency mining.
Iran’s current electricity network is outdated and struggling to supply residents with energy sufficiently. Despite the country suffering massive power outages, the center projects that mining will enhance the energy sector‘s efficiency.
Ironically, the country is making attempts to elevate cryptocurrency mining as a source of income through parliament legislation supporting the underground economy.