Iran has made its first official import order using cryptocurrencies, according to a report by Reuters.
The order, reported to be worth $10M, was taken as a first step towards allowing Iran to trade via digital assets that bypass the USD-dominated global financial system, and to allow it to trade with other countries that are similarly limited by U.S. trade embargoes such as Russia. It has not been made clear which crypto was in the transaction.
Iran has been subject to an almost total economic embargo from the U.S. including a ban on all imports, including those from the country’s raw oil, shipping and banking sectors. Iran’s capital city, Tehran, is one of the largest economies yet to embrace cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. However, a study conducted last year found that 4.5% of all BTC mining takes place in Iran due to the country’s cheap electricity system. Cryptocurrency mining could help the country earn hundreds of millions of dollars that can be used to mitigate the negative impact of the U.S. trade sanctions. In 2019, the government legalised crypto mining in the country, and it still strictly regulated the sector. It cracked down on local miners last year over its energy use.
Earlier this week, the European Union said it put forward a “final” text to revive the Iran nuclear deal, back in 2015, following four days of indirect talks between the U.S. and Iranian officials. Under this agreement, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for relief from U.S., EU, and U.N sanctions. Former U.S. President Donald Trump however reneged on the deal in 2019 and restored harsher U.S. sanctions, prompting the capital to violate the agreement’s nuclear limits less than a year later.
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