According to a report from the state -run Iranian Student’s News Agency (ISNA), Iran has established new regulations to funnel bitcoin mined by Iranians into state coffers to be used to pay for imports.
The Ministry of Energy and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) now require the country’s legally-registered crypto miners to sell the tokens they mine to the CBI. The nation’s foreign reserves have dwindled by over 33% in two years, making bitcoin an attractive workaround to crippling US sanctions.
Iran’s limited ability to use any dollars it holds in reserves has led the country to officially switch its primary reserve currency from the US dollars to the Chinese yuan. The country is also contemplating creating her own digital currency.
Iran officially legalised crypto mining in August 2019, though simultaneously prohibited trading. The regulations were designed to collect taxes from miners who might otherwise take advantage of Iran’s heavily susbidised electricity. Thanks to its enormous oil and natural gas reserves, Iran has some of the cheapest energy prices in the world.