US Sanctions on Iran Crypto Mining — Inevitable or Impossible?

  • Following in the footsteps of  Venezuela , the Iranian government is reportedly  planning its own central bank digital currency, while a significant number of Iranian citizens have been  mining various preexisting cryptocurrencies as part of an effort to mitigate the effects of a hyper-inflating national currency, the rial.
  • Iranian officials  complained at the beginning of July that the U.S. Congress is aiming to block Iran’s access to Bitcoin ( BTC ) mining and other cryptocurrencies more generally, without specifying how exactly it intends to achieve such an aim.
  • Given this possible change of direction, it would be instructive to consider how the U.S. could possibly restrict or prevent cryptocurrency mining and production from taking place in Iran.
  • However, both Song and Dorier agree that there are indirect ways of restricting cryptocurrency mining in Iran and of frustrating the Islamic Republic’s attempts to profit from its own digital currency.
  • The U.S. could certainly pass legislation or an executive order that prohibits American citizens from purchasing any Iranian digital currency, and such legislation could potentially also prohibit any kind of transaction with the Iranian cryptocurrency sector, thereby making it harder for Iranians to access mining equipment, for instance.
  • Put simply, the Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act will prohibit any U.S. citizen or foreign person from buying an Iranian digital currency or helping with the development of this currency.

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