Largely as a result of US sanctions, Venezuela has adopted the Petro, an oil-backed cryptocurrency. And it seems that Iran is being encouraged to do the same in lieu of current US sanctions. A move that could bring in much-needed money for the sanctions-hit country.
Cash-strapped Venezuela became the first country to lunch its own version of cryptocurrency, a move President Nicolas Maduro celebrated as putting his country on the world’s technological forefront.
Also in Iran fresh US sanctions will affect Iran’s oil exports, which constitutes a considerable amount of the country’s GDP. The sanctions come at a difficult time for the region, with financial difficulties in the banking sector and a weakening of the national currency. The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has implemented interventionist policies to counter these issues, and they have not been effective.
In this harsh financial conditions in the country. $2.5 billion has been sent out of the country solely for the purchase of cryptocurrency, with bitcoin making up a large part of this number. This figure comes directly from Mohammad Pourebrahimi, Chairman of the Economic Commission of the Parliament of Iran. He also publicly stated that money was flowing out of the country in general due to the malfunctioning banking system.
The idea of a state-backed cryptocurrency in Iran is more than a rumor at this stage. Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Minister has confirmed that a test cryptocurrency has already been implemented. Pourebrahimi has denied this while simultaneously pointing out the benefits of cryptocurrencies as the way forward in a global context. A state-backed cryptocurrency could well be on the table, given the current situation in Iran.
If the US forces poor countries to make the switch to state-cryptocurrencies through an aggressive economic policy, the same countries could simply form their own trade unions and abandon the dollar as a reserve currency.