The deputy governor of the Iranian central bank told media outlets that trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies within the country is illegal. Iranian residents took to the pioneer cryptocurrency as a means of securing their wealth as the Iranian Rial depreciated over the past three years, as reported by Tasnim News Agency on July 8, 2019.
Iran Joins Anti Trading Brigade
Being on the wrong side of the United States has historically been disastrous for most nations, especially those in the Middle East. The U.S. recently pulled out of the nuclear pact with Iran and levied a plethora of economic sanctions against the country. Since then, Iran and Europe have sought to look for new ways for them to get around these sanctions and conduct trade with each other.
Bitcoin has been a powerful tool for Iranian residents, as they have been receiving payments from relatives working abroad through the decentralized network in light of the American banking ban.
Despite the numerous benefits it holds for the country, the deputy governor has asked citizens to refrain from trading bitcoin as it is illegal to do so within the state. While the context of the conversation arose due to the numerous pyramid schemes in Iran, he confirmed that the ban would apply to all cryptocurrencies.
In the first, Iranians took to mining as a way to utilize the country’s cheap electricity to obtain bitcoin. As reported by BTCManager, the government of Iran recently removed the electrical subsidy for miners until they can implement a mechanism to prevent these miners from draining the surplus.
Bitcoin Empowers Emerging Markets
While some may disagree that Bitcoin was meant to harbor financial inclusion and bring a censorship-resistant payment channel to the third world, this vision is nonetheless playing out in real-time amidst turbulent geopolitical times.
Venezuelan residents, for instance, have used bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a way to stop their wealth from being eroded by the million percent inflation that plagues the country. With hard evidence that Bitcoin can empower those in economically weak regions, it is hard to refute the power of the technology.
Iran could have joined in on the revolution and used BTC as a way of escaping America’s clasp. It is also possible that they will take a similar route to Cuba and launch a native token that helps them engage in free trade despite economic sanctions.