A new survey conducted by analytics firm Gate Trade suggests that Telegram users in Iran are earning an average of $500 to $3,000 in cryptocurrency funds.
Iran Is Boosting Its Crypto Usage
Iran has been heavily into cryptocurrency following new economic sanctions from the United States and President Donald Trump pulling his country out of the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has sought ways to alleviate some of the issues stemming from these sanctions including potentially introducing a national cryptocurrency that would lessen inflation.
Of those who were monitored in the survey, ultimately 35 percent were miners and garnered profits by extracting new coins and tokens. The rest earned money through trading, either with individuals like themselves or through exchanges. The survey also suggests that about 70 percent of the country’s population is interested in cryptocurrency and learning more about the mining process.
Jimmy Song, a bitcoin developer and educator, explained in an interview that this kind of behavior is growing more common among third world or developing nations. The economic strife being faced by these states is becoming too heavy to be handled by standard institutional developments or institutions, and the power of crypto is looking stronger in the eyes of everyday citizens.
In China, there are WeChat groups [for traders] because they don’t have as much direct access to exchanges. I’m also hearing about a price premium in Argentina, for example, because the economy is facing some issues… What we want for all these places, whether distressed or not, is for people to have the ability to accumulate capital and earn more money to build things.
There is one major problem, however, and that is many mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges across the globe exclude Iran from the list of countries they serve. Thus, many citizens are having to resort to local trading platforms, many of which don’t offer the same security or insurance features that exchanges like Coinbase or Binance might offer.
This presents an issue in that assets can be stolen or are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. The survey suggests that approximately 83 percent of Iranians invested in digital assets do so through more obscure or smaller exchanges, and that greater exposure to high-ranking trading platforms is necessary if the country is to alleviate its financial strain and build its cryptocurrency backdrop.
In addition, many Iranian traders are looking to illegal or “questionable” means to gain access to more high-profile exchanges. One common method involves purchasing foreign ID cards through the black market, allowing them to satisfy the know your customer (KYC) requirements of these companies without providing their true identities or locations.
Inflation Is a Big Problem
Song further explains:
[Demand for bitcoin] is going to be felt in distressed economies much more than first world economies… They feel the impacts of inflation much more.