Iran is the first country in the world to use State-level bitcoin (BTC) as a means of payment. The Iranian Cabinet has changed the law so that they can pay with bitcoin when importing goods. This is reported by IRNA.
The country has been suffering from international sanctions for years. With bitcoin they can bypass (part of) the blockades.
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Where did Iran get this bitcoin?
Iran is betting on bitcoin mining. This year, it introduced clear rules for the industry and the country.
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) plays an important Cryptosoft role in this construction. Bitcoin miners in the country contribute (part) of their revenues to the bank in order to import goods. This is shown in a report by the bank and the Ministry of Energy.
Miners in the country get a kind of limit. Everything earned above that limit goes to the state. That limit depends on the subsidy that miners receive. They can make a deal with the Ministry of Energy for their elecriticality.
Incidentally, Iran is not a country where you just set up your data centre and get to work. A state-owned company in Iran recently closed the doors of 1 100 illegal Bitcoin mining farms. You have to comply with the strict rules.
Paying with bitcoin
A country that is partly cut off from the world economy is looking for solutions to their problems. A bitcoin transaction is borderless and financial institutions cannot block it on the network. This is valuable for many different people (or perhaps for everyone), but also for countries that cannot use all international payment networks.
So now Iran has bitcoin as a means of payment at the highest level in their country. Not out of luxury, but out of sheer necessity.
Earlier this year, car importers in Iran made a similar request: Car importers in Iran want to use earned bitcoin for trade.