It’s official. Iran made its first import order with crypto this week, according to the Tasnim agency. This is a move with the potential for the country to circumvent sanctions by the United States that have crippled the economy.
Valued at $10 million, this order represents the first step toward allowing the country to trade in a way that bypasses a global financial system dominated by the dollar. Through digital assets, it may represent a new means for countries with similar sanctions to trade amongst themselves. While Tasnim did not specify the crypto asset used in the transaction, it leaves many curious about the future of governmental operations, sanctions, and more.
این هفته، اولین ثبت سفارش رسمی واردات با #رمز_ارز به ارزشی معادل ۱۰ میلیون دلار با موفقیت صورت پذیرفت. تا پایان شهریور ماه، استفاده از رمز ارزها و قراردادهای هوشمند به صورت گسترده در تجارت خارجی با کشورهای هدف عمومیت خواهد یافت. #فصل_جدید_تجارت_خارجی— علیرضا پیمان پاک🇮🇷 (@peymanpak_ir) August 9, 2022
“This week, the first official import order was successfully placed with #cryptocurrency worth 10 million dollars,” he wrote. He added that using cryptocurrencies and smart contracts would become commonplace in Iran’s foreign trade by the end of September.
A New Way to Operate
Iranian officials said the first official import order of cryptocurrencies worth $10 million was successfully registered this week. The use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries by the end of September.— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) August 9, 2022
According to an official from the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, “By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries.”
The U.S. sanctions on Iran impose an almost complete embargo on the country’s economy. This includes a ban on imports from the country’s oil, shipping, and banking sectors.
Today, Tehran is among the largest economies to embrace cryptocurrency. Born in 2008, the asset aimed to erode governmental control over economics and finance.
In 2021, a study showed that 4.5% of BTC mining took place in Iran. This was due, in part, to the cheap electricity available in the country. Now, the mining of crypto assets could help the country earn millions of dollars for imports.
In turn, they would have the means to reduce the impact of sanctions.
Using Cryptocurrency in the Economy and the Iran Deal
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies tend to be a bit volatile, as we’ve seen over the past few months. To some, this makes them impractical for larger payments.
On Monday, the European Union stated that it put out a “final” text that could revive the Iran nuclear deal of 2015. This occurred as four days of indirect conversation wrapped up between officials from Iran and the U.S.
Under this agreement, the country curbed its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions imposed by the U.S., E.U., and U.N. However, former President Trump reneged on the deal in 2018, restoring harsher sanctions.
This resulted in Tehran violating the limits of the agreement roughly a year later.
Crypto Adoption in Other Countries
While Iran made its first import order with crypto, it’s far from the first country to adopt digital assets.
One of the world’s poorest countries, the Central African Republic made BTC legal tender in April. Last month, the country even launched its own digital token.
Last year, El Salvador similarly adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. Although it faced some skepticism, the country continues to buy more assets.