Iranians are turning to Bitcoin mining due to economic difficulties caused by sanctions by the U.S.

Iranians are turning to Bitcoin (BTC) mining due to economic difficulties caused by sanctions by the United States, International affairs think tank Atlantic Council reported Dec. 17.

Despite the recent crash in crypto markets and fluctuations in the national rial currency caused by recently reinforced U.S. sanctions, Iranian people are still reportedly managing to gain profits from mining Bitcoin.

As reported by Atlantic Council, 26-year-old Iranian Ali Hosseini and his cousin Pedram Ghasemi bought a Bitcoin mining device Antminer S9 two months ago for $526, when the top cryptocurrency was trading around $6,500.

Despite the U.S. dollar reportedly soaring to an all-time high of 190,000 against the rial at that time, as well as Bitcoin steadily declining over the past two months, the brothers claimed that they are “not seeing losses yet” due to “relatively low” prices for electricity.

Iran ranks number one globally in energy subsidies, the value of which constitutes 10.4 percent of the country’s annual GDP. Subsidies increased this year along with oil prices, previous to the crash in crude markets in early October. The price of natural gas, Iran’s main fuel for electricity generation, generally lags behind oil by a few months in international markets.

Moreover, the brothers suggested that the “US dollar must drop below 110,000 rials and Bitcoin must be down to $2,000 for [them] to really lose.” Instead of considering shutting down crypto mining and selling their mining hardware, as some businesses have, Hosseini said that they are even planning to purchase more mining devices, predicting that crypto will inevitably replace fiat money.

Also read: Supreme Court of Greece has ruled in support of a decision to extradite the alleged former operator of now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e Alexander Vinnik to France