Iran wants to use bitcoin for imports

Iran wants to use bitcoin for importing goods from abroad. According to a recent amendment to the law, Iranian bitcoin miners are now obliged to make the bitcoins they mine available for import via the central bank.

Things are not going so well in Iran. The country has been in an economic crisis for some time, partly due to falling oil prices and internationally imposed trade restrictions. The local currency, the Iranian rial, has lost half its value against the US dollar this year alone due to inflation, and there are shortages of other harder currencies to import goods with.

The Iranian government therefore recently amended local laws regarding bitcoin, Iran Daily reported. According to the amendment to the law, Iranian bitcoin miners are now obliged to make all bitcoins they mine above a certain amount available only for the import of goods from abroad.

The mining industry in Iran is significant. As a result of the low energy price, almost 4% of the global Bitcoin hashrate is said to come from the oil-rich country.

The new regulations stem from a joint proposal submitted by the Iranian Ministry of Energy and the Iranian central bank.

Course change

It is the umpteenth time in a short time that Iran changes the legislation regarding bitcoin. It was originally introduced to curb the country’s overgrown mining sector. Bitcoin trading was also banned. Bitcoin was initially mainly seen as a problem by the Iranian government.

Last year, however, the Iranian government came around. It introduced a kind of licensing system for bitcoin miners and has since issued more than a thousand licenses. The ban on bitcoin trading was also lifted. With the most recent amendment to the law, the helm seems to have changed completely: the Iranian government and central bank now want to use bitcoin.

After all, Bitcoins have value all over the world and since the network is decentralized, open and independent, no one has the power to censor another. The restrictions that apply to Iran in the traditional and US-dominated banking system do not count on the apolitical Bitcoin network.

Iran Bitcoin country?

It gives the impression that Iran may be the first country to see bitcoin adoption at the state level. In a sense that may be the case, but a little nuance may be in order.

According to sources from, the Iranian government and central bank do not intend to hold bitcoins, but it may be a system in which different parties are linked together.

Moreover, the amount of bitcoins available for import through these channels would be limited, because according to the sources there are only a handful of legal mining centers. The yields would be too little to keep a factory going. Most miners mine illegally, according to the sources, because they are not allowed to use cheap and subsidized electricity through the legal route, which makes it not profitable enough.

“In general, the cost of bitcoin mining in Iran is very high and has no economic justification. Currently, the volume of mined bitcoin is so low that it cannot meet the foreign exchange needs of a factory.” – Omid Alavi, via

The Iranian adoption of bitcoin is therefore still in its infancy, but it is still a special development: the first central bank is ‘om’.


Iran is not the only country that seems to be gradually getting used to bitcoin. There is also increasing interest in bitcoin and bitcoin mining in Venezuela. There, the government introduced regulations in September that require Venezuelan bitcoin miners to join a national mining pool.

In addition, the Venezuelan government is developing more and more other initiatives, such as its own exchange and support for bitcoin on a government-managed platform for international transfers.

s:, Creative Commons BY 2.0

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