The first import paid for in crypto worth $10 million has been made official in Iran. This marks the first step in circumventing sanctions imposed on the country by the United States.
Iran and the first $10 million import paid for in crypto
Tasnim’s semi-official agency revealed that Iran made its first import using crypto this week. The order worth a total of $10 million paid in crypto could become the country’s first step in circumventing US-imposed sanctions.
While it was not specified which crypto was used, what is apparent is that Iran can now trade through digital assets that bypass the dollar-dominated global financial system.
And indeed, the United States imposes a near-total economic embargo on Iran, which includes a ban on all imports, including those from the country’s oil, banking and shipping sectors.
In this regard, an official from the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade tweeted:
“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries”.
Iran and crypto-mining since 2019
Iran legalized crypto mining in 2019 and strictly regulates the industry. There are currently 118 authorized Bitcoin mining units in the country.
During the first year, the Iranian government lost track of all these mining licenses and had to issue a ban toward Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining for four months in May 2021.
President Hassan Rouhani reportedly said that in view of the fact that 85% of mining farms in the territory do not hold regular licenses, the mining ban would be in effect until the end of September. Not only that, the temporary blocking of the industry would also support the summer increase in electricity consumption.
As of October 2021, mining activity in Iran resumed on a regular basis, only for companies in the territory with a regular license.
The case of Kraken circumventing sanctions
Recently, the New York Times reported that Kraken’s crypto-exchange was reportedly placed under investigation by the US Treasury Department for allegedly violating sanctions imposed on Iran.
Basically, it appears that Kraken would have allowed the transfer of digital currencies to Iran, despite sanctions imposed by the US government preventing it.
At the moment, there is no official update on this. Certainly, US authorities are conducting tight controls on exchanges, like in the case of Binance, precisely because of the possibility that they may allow citizens, not only of Iran, but also of Russia, to circumvent sanctions.