According to the head of the Iranian Association Blockchain, last year the U.S. government confiscated more than 500 of bitcoins belonging to the people of Iran, and this number continues to grow. He explained that residents are unable to take appropriate action to protect their interests because of the legal status of cryptocurrencies in Iran.
Sepehr Mohammadi (Sepehr Mohammadi), President of the Iranian Blockchain Association, said last week news edition Ibena:
«Last year, a significant amount of bitcoins owned by some Iranians, were confiscated for unknown reasons by the Federal government of the United States, and the process of confiscation still going on.»
He said that the exact number of bitcoins confiscated «is unknown, but is likely to exceed 500 bitcoins worth about 25 billion tomans ($5,77 million)».
«According to some, the confiscation is due to the fact that the owners of bitcoins bypassed U.S. sanctions,» added Mohammadi.
It was recently reported that the government of Iran is considering the possibility of using cryptocurrency to bypass long-standing economic sanctions of the United States. Mohammad Reza PUR-Ibrahimi (Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi), Chairman of the Economic Commission of the Iranian Parliament, said in an interview with Mizan news Agency on 15 July that digital currency is one of the main mechanisms, which Iran can use to circumvent the sanctions. He noted that the Iranian Parliament will soon discuss the issue.
Sepehr Mohammadi also told the publication Ibena about the problems faced by Iranian citizens trying to recover their crypto-currencies:
«The owners of confiscated bitcoins are unable to take legal action against the United States in Iran since the country banned the cryptocurrency. The Association aims to take international legal action, but we have not yet found a legal expert in the field of combating money laundering, which will deal with this case.»
Recall that in April, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has banned banks and financial institutions in the country to process cryptocurrency transactions. The CBI argued that «all cryptocurrencies have the ability to turn into a means of money laundering and financing of terrorism and, in General, can be used by criminals to transfer money.»
However, PUR-Ebrahimi Ibena announced in may that while «few in Iran who are the users of cryptocurrencies», according to him, «more than $2.5 billion was sent outside the country to buy digital currencies». In addition, in may, Iran also offered Russia to use cryptocurrency in trade. Then PUR-Ebrahimi said that this topic has been discussed in the state Duma Committee on economic policy, where share a similar initiative.