Bitcoin Helps People Avoid Economic Sanctions in Iran
Last February, Valiollah Seif, governor of the central bank of Iran, told press on national television that Iran would eliminate the use of the U.S. dollar within the country. As the middle eastern country changes, the region is becoming a becoming fertile ground for bitcoin adoption.
In recent years, people have stated they believe Iran is the perfect candidate for embracing bitcoin’s censorship resistant utility. The logic behind this is largely due to the U.S. sanctions against Iran, which strictly enforces economic embargos and trading bans against the country. Many other countries also follow the sanctions as the U.S. and the United Nations Security Council have put a lot of pressure on allies to support the trade guidelines.
Due of the strict economic sanctions the subject of bitcoin and Iran made headlines in 2012 from a report published by Bloomberg. The article explained that “dollar-less Iranians had discovered the virtual currency.” Bitcoin’s were becoming quite valuable in Iran because they could be easily spent abroad by citizens the report detailed. Iranian-American bitcoin consultant Farzad Hashemi said residents were astonished at how easily it could help them spend money overseas.
“They are instantly fascinated by it,” “It’s a flash for them when they realize how it can solve their problems.” Hashemi explained.
Bitcoin’s legality in Iran is unclear as the country’s authorities have not officially established a political stance on the decentralized currency subject. Citizens currently rely on Localbitcoins for their bitcoins and also utilize a marketplace called Coinava. The peer-to-peer marketplace has been offering Iranians a platform to buy and sell bitcoins since 2013. Coinava is similar to Craigslist as users can meet to trade bitcoins in their local area. The Iranian bitcoin platform uses an escrow to keep the funds quoted and charges both parties 1% for the transaction.
The benefits of bitcoin’s censorship resistance is working well for citizens of Iran and those wanting to do business in the middle eastern country. With the central bank removing the U.S. dollar away from the region residents may find the attributes of bitcoin more tempting.
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