(Article published by Benedict Alibasa with same title in CoinDesk)

Cryptocurrency miners in Iran could face higher electricity bills if Iran’s Energy Minister gets his way. Minister Homayoun Haeri says that energy used by cryptocurrency miners in Iran should be charged in real prices and not be subsidized by the government.

Iran’s government spends about $1 billion in electricity subsidies in the country with Iranian households paying just a fraction of the real cost of the electricity usage.

Authorities in Iran prohibit the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies. However, such activities continue to proliferate given the relatively low electricity costs in the country.

Sanctions imposed by the US on Iran has even encouraged more people in Iran to mine and trade cryptocurrencies as an alternative to fiat currency.

In an earlier report by CoinDesk, blockchain researcher Nima Dehqan at Tehran-based crypto startup Areatak said foreign investors from Spain, Ukraine, Armenia, and France have visited their cryptocurrency farms in Iran. Dehqan said his firm has already entered an agreement with an investor from Spain to establish a mining farm in Iran. Dehqan said foreign cryptocurrency investors are keen on farming in Iran due to the cheap electricity in the country which costs well below $0.01 per kilowatt-hour. Further adding to Iran’s appeal to cryptocurrency miners is the recent fall of the Iranian rial’s value due to sanctions imposed by the US, according to Dehqan.