Tehran’s stock exchange is set to open the trading week on Saturday under a new leadership after its head resigned following the “discovery” of cryptocurrency mining equipment on the premises
“The president of the Tehran Stock Exchange Ali Sahrai resigned and Mahmoud Goudarzi has been named to lead this body,” the official IRNA news agency said.
The personnel change followed “controversy triggered by the discovery of cryptocurrency mining equipment”, IRNA said.
It added that the find came during a “surprise visit to the basement of the exchange building”.
“Mining” digital currency requires the use of powerful computers dedicated to solving complicated equations. This consumes enormous amounts of electricity.
About five to 10 percent of world bitcoin mining can be traced to Iran, consultant and cryptocurrency expert Michel Rauchs has said.
Iranian officials have regularly blamed unlicensed cryptocurrency miners for using vast amounts of electricity.
In May, the government banned crypto mining for four months, a day after the energy minister apologised for unplanned power cuts in major cities.
Following the ban, police carried out several operations against underground crypto miners during the summer.
After the mining equipment was uncovered at the bourse, Iran’s securities and exchange organisation summoned bourse managers because they “had not properly registered these mining operations in their reports and accounts”, IRNA said.
Iran in September 2018 was among the first countries in the world to legalise the mining of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.