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Bitcoin; Money laundering Tool of the Iran’s Regime’s IRGC

During the past few weeks, simultaneous power outages in Tehran and other metropolises across Iran, was part of the latest attempt of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to plunder Iranians. Saber Parnian, managing director of industrial estates of Tehran acknowledged that “Bitcoin mining is the cause of power outages.”  

What is Bitcoin? What is it used for, and how is it related to electricity consumption?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that requires powerful servers called miners to extract it. The IRGC uses cheap agricultural electricity, build large sheds, and install old Chinese miners that consume a lot of electricity. They are used to extracting bitcoins. In this regard, China Has built a bitcoin mining center with a power consumption of 175 MW in the Rafsanjan Special Economic Zone. Also, China has launched10,000 devices have during the first phase of this project. 

“So far, we have identified about 1,600 unauthorized centers,” said, director-general of international affairs of the Tavanir(Electric Power Industry Company).

The IRGC uses Bitcoin mining to circumvent sanctions and the international banking system. The IRGC uses Bitcoin because its exchanges are not registered anywhere, and the identities of the parties to the transaction are not identifiable. So, it is the best way is to bypass the global banking system and the anti-money laundering watchdog’s conventions.

Bitcoin; Money laundering Tool of the Iran's Regime's IRGC
Bitcoin; Money laundering Tool of the Iran’s Regime’s IRGC

According to the New York Times, since tracking transactions and transfers in the digital currency is not an easy task; the Iranian regime’s financial transfers occur more quickly in this context.

Thus, the Revolutionary Guards uses the Bitcoin to escape the international banking system to finance terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, and the Houthis.

However, the world’s reputable banks do not recognize Bitcoin. But if the two countries reach an agreement, it could create a rift for the regime to circumvent sanctions. In this regard, Iran has joint cooperation with China and Venezuela.

Thus, since it is in an economic impasse, the regime has extracted bitcoins by stealing people’s electricity by establishing digital farms exclusively owned by the IRGC. This factor only increases the people’s anger and resentment towards the IRGC and the Mullahs’ regime.