Erik Weijers, 7 months ago
According to Iran's deputy Minister of Industry, the country has placed an import order worth $10 million, payable in crypto. Iran has been plagued by international sanctions for years. As a result, the country has no dollars to participate in world trade. Crypto is a solution.
It is not known what kind of order is involved or which counterparty will accept the 10 million in crypto - or which crypto currency it concerns. But according to the deputy minister, the deal is one of many to follow from September. Iran's main trading partners are China and the United Arab Emirates.
In the fall of 2020, Iran had already introduced a law that allowed legally mined Bitcoin for imports. Miners had to sell their BTC to the Central Bank of Iran, which could then use it for imports. In short, Bitcoin mining is a state business in Iran.
People who support sanctions against Iran are unlikely to welcome Iran's use of crypto. On the other hand, they might like crypto donations to activists under tyrannical regimes. Crypto is "neutral" in this sense: it doesn't care. It is simply a permissionless form of money that is popping up in places where fiat money ("normal" money) is absent or malfunctioning.
This is not to say that crypto is immune to sanctions. Aside from a handful of privacy coins, including Monero and Zcash, many crypto transactions can be boycotted one way or the other. Take the decision by stablecoin issuer Circle (of USDC) to invalidate coins mixed with Tornado Cash. This by decree of the US government.
Ultimately, the bottom line is that any crypto is vulnerable to censorship if a CEO - or a small circle of decision makers - can be challenged and threatened by a government. This could become an issue even for Bitcoin. While there is obviously no CEO of Bitcoin, there are Bitcoin miners who could in theory be held accountable for recording transactions to blacklisted addresses.
Photo: Blondinrikard Fröberg, Flickr
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