Tehran Stock Exchange CEO resigns after Bitcoin miners discovered in basement
Ali Sahraee, chief executive of the Tehran Stock Exchange since 2018, is said to have resigned after the discovery of cryptocurrency mining platforms in the building.
According to a report from the country’s public media, the News Agency of the Islamic Republic, the Tehran Stock Exchange or TSE, the vice president of the market, Mahmoud Goudarzi, will lead the company after Sahraee leaves. The change of management appears to be the result of the discovery of “a number of minors” in the basement of the TSE building located in the Sa’adat Abad neighborhood.
The TSE initially allegedly denied the existence of the miners, claiming the equipment was part of a research project. However, Deputy Executive Director Beheshti-Sarsht later said the company should be held accountable for its actions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced in May that mining of Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies would be banned over the summer in an effort to reduce demand on the country’s power grid. It is not known when authorities discovered the mining rigs during a “sudden inspection” of TSE’s basement, but the activity was apparently still illegal until the last week of September.
During the ban, authorities carried out numerous raids on crypto miners large and small, seizing illegally operating miners and issuing fines to households responsible for block generation. However, the majority of the raids have focused on abandoned factories, homes and small businesses – nothing as high-profile as Iran’s largest stock exchange.
Related: Iranian crypto miners using household energy will face hefty fines
Iran’s energy crisis has led to blackouts and blackouts, with many officials accusing crypto mining of sucking up the juice. However, an August report from the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Commerce said that claims by some authorities regarding crypto miners’ energy use “appear to be grossly exaggerated.”