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Iran arranges first import using cryptocurrency

In a groundbreaking development, Iran has made its first-ever import arrangement using cryptocurrency, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

“This week, the first official import order registration worth $10 million was successfully completed using cryptocurrency,” said Alireza Peyman-Pak, the head of Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. He didn’t provide any other details about the transaction, such as which cryptocurrency was used or where the imports were coming from.

This week’s $10 million import order is just the beginning, as Iran works to sidestep sanctions and pursue trade with other U.S.-targeted economies. “By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries,” said Peyman-Pak.

Last month, Iranian economic minister Ehsan Khandouzi announced that the U.S. dollar had been officially replaced by the ruble in Iran’s trade with Russia, and that work is underway to replace the dollar in business with China, Turkey and India. Russia and Iran are also engineering an alternative to the SWIFT payments messaging service, which is used throughout global trade but is frequently used as a sanctions weapon — by blocking access to it.

In a 2021 report, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic estimated that 4.5% of all bitcoin mining in the world was happening in Iran. Iran instituted a licensing regime for cryptocurrency miners in 2019. It requires registration, the payment of a modest surcharge for electricity, and that all mined bitcoins must be sold to Iran’s central bank.

News of Iran’s crypto-denominated import transaction comes as the European Union has presented Iran and the United States with a “final” proposal for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that President Trump reneged on despite Iran’s compliance.

Full article: Iran arranges first import using cryptocurrency

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