As a result of United States President Donald Trump withdrawing from the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, and imposing what the US calls its “strongest sanctions in history” against the Middle Eastern country, the rial’s value – Iran’s native fiat currency – has fallen dramatically compared to the US dollar.
Russia, too, has suffered in the face of United States- and European Union-imposed sanctions against the country for its ongoing military efforts against Ukraine, dating as far back as 2014.
According to a report from Russian media publication RBC, citing major independent news agency Interfax as a source, Government officials in Tehran have brought up the discussion of using cryptocurrencies as a way to avoid the SWIFT-operated global interbank system. The global interbank system is currently US dollar-based, hence Iran and Russia seeking to avoid using it.
Mohammad-Reza Pourebrahimi, chairman of Iran’s Parliamentary Commission of Economic Affairs says Iran has already started developing proposals with the Central Bank of Iran to begin using cryptocurrency, suggesting it was “one of the good ways to bypass the use of the dollar.”
Pourebrahimi claims to have met with top Russian officials in the financial sector, explaining that Russia will cooperate with Iran on the initiative to use cryptocurrencies, adding:
“They share our opinion. We said that if we manage to promote this work, then we will be the first countries that use cryptocurrency in the exchange of goods.”
Other countries are also suspected to be using cryptocurrencies to avoid various economic sanctions. Cryptocurrencies and their decentralized design, ensures that no central authority can stop or alter transactions, making them an ideal means of exchange for any country seeking to evade sanctions.