Stranded Iranian students in the United Kingdom have turned to Bitcoin as a tool to circumvent the economic sanctions placed on their country, according to a Guardian report. Parsa Sadat, a law student at the University of Reading, is among a bevy of Iranian students who can't pay their tuition fees and are completely stranded at school after Iran was hit with sanctions by U.S. President Donald Trump last month.
For the first time, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has traced illicit bitcoin activity to the public addresses of two sanctioned individuals.
According to a November 28, 2018, press release, the department is bringing action against Ali Khorashadizadeh and Mohammad Ghorbaniyan for their alleged involvement in the SamSam ransomware scheme.
Iran’s High Council of Cyberspace (HCC) has opened up about its embracive approach to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in the country.
Iran’s HCC, a prominent authority that could decide the legality of cryptocurrencies in the country, has welcomed the prospect of bitcoin in Iranian society, under well-defined regulations.
Speaking to Iranian news agency ILNA, HCC secretary Abolhassan Firouzabadi said in quotes reported by the Financial Tribune:
We [at the HCC] welcome Bitcoin, but we must have regulations for Bitcoin and any other digital currency…Our view regarding Bitcoin is positive, but it does not mean that we will not require regulations in this regard because following the rules is a must.
The central bank of Iran is undertaking a comprehensive study on cryptocurrencies with a particular spotlight on bitcoin.
In a news conference yesterday, the Central Bank of Iran’s deputy director of innovative new technologies Nasser Hakimi revealed the authority’s intent to examine all aspects of Bitcoin as a part of its research agenda. The central bank will then follow up its study with a complete review of its policies on cryptocurrencies.
The Iranian government is reportedly laying the infrastructure for bitcoin users in a move that could see the cryptocurrency gain status as legal tender in the country.
In an interview published in Farsi newspaper Shargh in late October, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Amir Hossein Davaee revealed a concentrated effort by the ICT ministry to prepare the country for adopting bitcoin as a currency.
As quoted by the Iran Front Page in translated statements, the ICT minister stated:
The ministry of communications and information technology has already conducted a number of research studies as part of efforts to prepare the infrastructure to use Bitcoin inside the country.