Bitcoin is currently trading at an incredible $25,887 in Iran, more than $18,500 above the current bitcoin global price of $7,300.
Other cryptos too are at a huge premium. Ethereum, for example, is currently trading at $1,050 in Iran, significantly more than its global price of just $270.
We were able to verify the above based on three different peer to peer exchanges in Iran. One of them, Exir, tweeted about it, giving us the featured image above.
Another one, AlternetCoins, seems to be more of a broker, with their prices at about half of those stated above, but still at a considerable premium offering one bitcoin for $12,000.
It may be they perhaps haven’t gotten around to updating their quotes, or perhaps they have a way of getting cryptos from global exchanges.
Another peer to peer site, BitBarg, has the lowest bitcoin selling offers at 1,090,000,000 Iranian Rial, worth circa $26,000.
This incredible price explosion, suggesting some considerable rise in demand within Iran, may be due to a number of recent factors that all complement each other as far as crypto appeal is concerned.
First, US sanctions are probably starting to bite. Second, that lowered confidence in Iranian money to the point it has effectively recently crashed, with its value against the dollar down more than 80% in recent years:
The second biggest green candle there was just recently, with Iranians rushing to find anything of worth that keeps its value better than their fiat money, such as cryptos.
The third and biggest factor may be an apparent strategy by Iran to utilize cryptos as a method to bypass sanctions.
As part of it, they have recently legalized crypto mining and may soon legalize crypto exchanges which their Central Bank banned this April.
They have in fact gone so far as to announce plans for a centralized national cryptocurrency which in practice may go no where, but politically clearly communicates their intention to maybe even embrace cryptos.
That must have raised awareness in Iran considerably as the above plans are at a high level with even the president of Iran involved in some way. Thus, Iranians are now clearly trying to get their hands on cryptocurrencies.
Supply must however be low due to sanctions, but at such huge premiums supply may well find its way as cryptos become a hedge of sorts, as well as a permissionless way to transfer value, a quality that even some governments might now find quite useful.
Correction: There are suggestions there’s a difference between the official IRR exchange rate and the exchange rate ordinary people in Iran have access to. Crypto prices in Iran are apparently same as global prices with the latter, while the above applies to the former.