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Tehran Stock Exchange CEO steps following Bitcoin mining rigs case


www.thecoinrepublic.com 30 September 2021 17:00, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

This scandal has without a doubt sent shockwaves to Iran’s Tehran Stock Exchange as its CEO stepped down following the discovery of cryptocurrency mining machines in the basement of the bourse building. Reports stated that the illegal mining operation was uncovered during a surprise inspection.   

Tehran Stock Exchange CEO busted   

Iran’s state-run media – the Islamic Republic News Agency – first broke the news that Tehran Stock Exchange’s Chief Executive Officer Ali Sahraee resigned from his position after the illegal crypto mining operation was unearthed. TSE is said to have denied the presence of these mining rigs claiming that the machines are for research purposes. The Executive Deputy Director Beheshti-Sarsht stated, however, that the TSE should be held responsible for their actions.   

Temporary halt   

For the uninitiated, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made it known back in May that the mining of bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies would be barred throughout their summer season. This is to alleviate the huge demand on the country’s power grid.   

While the said ruling is in effect, Iranian authorities have launched several raids on crypto miners and seized those who are operating illegally, not to mention slapping busted households with fines. It was pointed out in the reports, though, that a lot of these raids conducted have zeroed in on small businesses, homes, and even abandoned factories. The one that was discovered right under TSE’s nose was an exception to the three mentioned.    

Iran’s energy crisis  

Iran – just like China – is also experiencing an energy crisis which has led to frequent power outages. That said, several officials are pinpointing cryptocurrency mining as one of the main reasons as to why they’re experiencing such a debacle as of late. Nonetheless, the report from Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade back in August says otherwise. It was noted that some of the authorities’ claims regarding the power usage of cryptocurrency miners may well seem to be just an exaggeration.  

Iran began the regulation of crypto mining back in 2018 as the government issued licenses to 1,000 of these miners in January of 2020. The country is said to be responsible for an estimated 4.5 percent of all bitcoin mining and the Iranian president’s address in May reveals that 85 percent of Iran’s crypto mining activity were being operated by unlicensed miners adding that they are gobbling up a staggering two gigawatts from the country’s grid daily.   

The temporary crypto mining ban was scheduled to be lifted on September 22. That said, it’s not clear when the raid on the TSE took place. Currently, Sahraee was replaced by the exchange’s Market Vice President Mahmoud Goudarzi.     

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