According to a new blockchain study by Elliptic, Iran accounts for 4.5% of all Bitcoin mining. Given the country’s current energy consumption, Elliptic estimates that Iran’s bitcoin farm will have annual sales of $ 1 billion.
In compiling his assessment, Elliptic reviewed data from the University of Cambridge’s Center for Alternative Finance, as well as statements from a state-controlled power generation, distribution and transmission company (also known as Tavanir) claiming Iranian miners use up to 600 MW of electricity.
However, the company acknowledged that the figures were “very difficult to pin down.”
Cambridge last updated its data for each country in April 2020, setting the average monthly share of Bitcoin energy consumption in Iran at 3.82%. At that time, Bitcoin’s price was around $ 7,000 – the global hash power (that is, the amount of computing power used to mine Bitcoin) had increased significantly along with the price.
The study also shows that Iran is doubling bitcoin to bypass US sanctions on oil exports. Less gas leaving the country means cheaper energy to mine Bitcoin, which is an attractive prospect not only for local miners but also for Chinese mining companies looking to circumvent the ban.
In fact, Iran still sells a lot of oil and gas internationally – it’s all about electricity generation, not oil and gas itself. “Generating electricity by miners in Iran requires about 10 million barrels of crude oil annually – about 4% of Iran’s total oil exports by 2020,” the study said.