In an attempt to curb capital flight, the Central Bank of Iran has banned the trading of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies mined outside the country.
Oil and natural gas deposits make Bitcoin mining in Iran, energy-rich, relatively inexpensive and profitable. Since the legalization of cryptocurrency mining (but not trade) in 2019, Iran has sought to regulate the industry to its benefit.
Last October, while Iran sought to avoid paralyzing U.S. sanctions initiated during the Trump administration, the Central Bank ordered Bitcoin miners registered within Iran to sell the mined tokens to the CBI. The move gave the country an alternative way to pay for imports that bypassed foreign currency restrictions.
The rial, Iran's national currency, accumulates a loss of 80% of its value against the dollar between January 2017 and January 2021. During that same period, Bitcoin's value increased by more than 3,800%.