Iran-based sellers on peer-to-peer trading platform Local Bitcoins are currently demanding approximately 1 billion Iranian rials or more than $24,000 per Bitcoin (BTC), based on the country’s central bank’s official exchange rate.
But is this really the real price for Bitcoin that Iranians pay?
“Official” exchange rate distorts Bitcoin price in Iran
Yet Iran’s apparent staggering advantage over the current global market price can only exist on the surface.
In fact, double exchange rates are not unusual for countries with weak national currencies— such as Venezuela —: one “official” rate set by the central bank of the country and the other, the actual market rate, or the actual amount of dollars that a regular person would pay.
“The official rate is what the central bank says. But literally, no one except some government organizations can get that rate while no one can use it. It’s a joke.”
“So if you wanna buy USD today in Tehran, the price is about 140,000 IRR,” he says.
In other words, while the “official rate” is around 42,000 IRR per 1 USD — which would result in the $24,000 price of Bitcoin — the actual street rate will bring us closer to the actual global market price of BTC, currently about $7,300 USD.
U.S.-Iran tensions boost oil, Bitcoin prices
As Coin telegraph announced, the commander of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, General Qasem Soleimani, was killed by an air strike at Baghdad airport ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump. This has resulted in an increase in global oil prices and a recovery in Bitcoin from weekly lows of about $6,850.
While, looking at Local Bitcoin’s BTC levels in Iran, Messari Ryan Selkis, founder of the crypto analytics outlet mistakenly noted that the result is now a huge premium. He wrote the following:
“Bitcoin is trading at nearly $24,000 in the USD equivalent of Iranian Rials on Local Bitcoins today. It’s unlikely those purchases are paying for the Iranian military’s response. Instead, it might be innocent (and desperate) Iranians looking for a way out of the coming chaos.”
But given the dual reality of the exchange rate in Iran, no one is likely to pay that much per Bitcoin.
“There is a slight increase in dollar price today from what I see in the local market but that’s about it,” adds Beikverdi.
Iran restricts access to the Internet, Bitcoin trading
At the same time, in recent months, recorded volumes of trading on Local Bitcoins have hit rock bottom. This is possible because Iran’s government has been limiting internet access across the country since November in response to rising fuel prices in the midst of nationwide protests.
Meanwhile, after the killing of Soleimani, Iran vowed to seek revenge on the U.S. on Friday, NBC News reported.
Coin telegraph reported last month that Iran proposed a Muslim cryptocurrency as one of a number of ways to confront the United States ‘ economic dominance.
“The Muslim world should be designing measures to save themselves from the domination of the United States dollar and the American financial regime,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “The Muslim world should be designing measures to save themselves from the domination of the United States dollar and the American financial regime,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Nonetheless, Iran maintains an unfavorable position on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general as the authorities offered a payout to anyone who exposes the country’s unauthorized mining operations.