Iran executes first official import settlement worth $10 million in cryptocurrencies

  • This is the first major official import order by Iran in cryptocurrencies that helps it evade U.S. Sanctions.
  • By September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widespread in foreign trade with target countries. 

The Islamic Republic of Iran, a country facing severe sanctions, is finding a new safe haven in cryptocurrencies. This week, Iran executed its first official import order in cryptocurrencies, as reported by the semi-official Tasnim agency reported on Tuesday, August 9.

This move will help the Islamic Republic of Iran evade U.S. sanctions that have severely crippled the economy. As per high-ranking Iranian official Alireza Peyman-Pak, the import order in cryptocurrencies was worth $10 million. However, there’s no mention of the type of imported good or the cryptocurrency used in the transaction. The announcement from Alireza Peyman-Pak, Iran’s vice minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade reads:

This week, the first official import order was successfully placed with #رمز_ارز worth 10 million dollars. By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widespread in foreign trade with target countries.

The United States has imposed strict economic sanctions against Iran since 1979 in alleged response to the country’s nuclear program. Since then, Iran has been largely cut off from the Dollar dominated global financial system in order to trade with other countries.

This seems as the first step for Iran to trade with other countries using cryptocurrencies and bypass the USD-dominated financial system. Post-Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the country faced similar sanctions. However, America’s foes have been exploring other alternative forms of payment settlements to trade with other countries.

Iran’s soft stance on Cryptocurrencies

As per Reuters, Tehran is one of the largest economies to embrace crypto technology. Besides, it is also home to a substantial amount of crypto mining activity. Last year, Iran alone contributed to 4.5 percent of the total Bitcoin mining activity, as miners flocked due to the availability of cheap electricity.

Besides, the crypto mining industry in Iran also generates hundreds of millions of dollars which the country can use to buy imported goods and lessen the impact of sanctions.

The Iranian government has also been softening its stand on cryptocurrencies recently. Last year, the country issued permits to 30 crypto firms to conduct crypto mining operations. This approval came just a week after the Iranian police confiscated more than 7,500 computers dedicated to crypto mining in the capital city of Iran. However, promoting crypto mining activities has also cost Iran otherwise as the country faced severe power shortages and outages.

Earlier this year, Iran also noted that businesses operating in the country can use cryptocurrencies. The Central Bank of Iran noted:

All economic actors can use these cryptocurrencies. The trader takes the ruble, the rupee, the dollar, or the euro, which he can use to obtain cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which is a form of credit, and can pass it on to the seller or importer. […] Since the cryptocurrency market is done on credit, our economic actors can easily use it and use it wisely.

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