US Senators cite security concerns over Iran’s crypto mining sector



Iran’s cryptocurrency mining sector is under fire as United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Angus King believes its a threat to national security.

According to a letter to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, sent on May 1, the senators have urged the Biden administration to detail the possible ties between the Iranian government and local crypto miners.

Senators Warren and King believe that digital assets being mined in Iran are being used to bypass U.S. sanctions and fund terrorist organizations like “Hezbollah.” Further, they allege that these funds were also used to fuel the nation’s attack on Israel in April.

Iran has been sanctioned by U.S. along with other international bodies since 1979. Earlier this year, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on several entities involved in the illegal export of technology from multiple U.S. companies to Iran.

“Unless we take action, Iran will continue to use crypto to fund attacks against Israel,” the letter stated.

In the letter, the duo cited a report that claimed the Iranian government preferred “newly minted” Bitcoin since it is “less traceable.” It was also reported that Bitcoin miners in the nation generated $1 billion in revenue in 2021.

As such, the Senators have asked U.S. officials to provide data on revenue generated by Iranian crypto miners, its potential use in money laundering, and how they plan on addressing these “threats to U.S. national security.”

Interestingly, the Iranian government has cracked down on the cryptocurrency mining sector on multiple occasions since mining was legalized in the nation in 2019. 

In 2021, the nation confiscated approximately 150,000 pieces of crypto-mining equipment to address concerns of electricity depletion. The equipment, however, was released in January of last year.



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