Bitcoin is trading at nearly 1 billion Iranian rials through P2P trading platform LocalBitcoins, based on the official exchange rate.
Iranian individuals and businesses use the official exchange rate set by the Central Bank of Iran when converting rials to US dollars. Rials are currently priced at almost a third of the official exchange rate.
Crypto trader Mehran Jalali said one dollar is equal to 136,500 rials according to the ongoing market rate. “The current BTC to rial rate posted on Iranian crypto exchange websites is around one BTC to 984,000,000 rials, equal to $7,208 per bitcoin in Iran, which is very close to the going rate everywhere else.”
Ali Beikverdi, a crypto expert, said, “The official rate is what the central bank says. But literally, no one except some government organizations can get that rate while no one can use it. It’s a joke. “
Meanwhile, BTC has been trading at a small premium in some countries, compared to the levels reported in Iran.
For example, in South Korea, the BTC has been trading around 10% higher until the country introduced tough regulations in early 2018.
Moreover, BTC is trading at a premium of around 4% in Hong Kong as China imposed strict cypto trading ban, which forced people to use the stablecoin tether.
Ryan Selkis, co-founder and chief executive of Messari, said, “Bitcoin is trading at nearly $24,000 in the USD equivalent of Iranian Rials on LocalBitcoins today. It’s unlikely those purchases are paying for the Iranian military’s response. Instead, it might be innocent (and desperate) Iranians looking for a way out of the coming chaos.”
The country, however, holds an unfavorable position against cryptocurrencies as authorities have offered bounties to anyone exposing illegal crypto mining operations.