How Cryptocurrency Added a New Vision to Syria’s Wartime Economy

Syrian President, Bashar al Assad with Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Syria is just emerging from an almost decade-long civil war. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, anti-Assad guerrillas, and ISIS terrorists all vied for power over Syria’s crucial landscape. Assad’s regime has emerged victorious, with help from allies in Moscow and Tehran, and Syria has returned to relative stability. Damascus itself has also returned to normal life, with small groups of foreign tourists returning to its ancient cobbled passageways. This article will examine how cryptocurrency aided a region of Syria’s economy during its strained wartime years.

Rojava cryptocurrency trial

In 2018, the self-proclaimed “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria” run by anti-Assad guerrillas announced the introduction of cryptocurrency to its market to aid its boycotted and embargoed economy. Under economic sanctions from Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, the region hoped cryptocurrency would pump some life into its failing financial sector.

Furthermore, Erselan Serdem, a developer in the region, spoke to The Blockchain Land in 2018 and noted that blockchain and cryptocurrency would play a crucial role in establishing the envisioned democratic system for that region of Syria.

Adopting cryptocurrency symbolised a bigger goal of a democratic system whose financial schemes were enhanced by modern technologies. They hoped a move away from fiat currencies would better diversify the region’s economy.

Coindesk reported that major figures in Rojava hoped to use cryptocurrency to further their vision of eradicating hierarchical domination.

The way forward

It is unknown how the hoped-for plans to implement the cryptocurrency plan in Rojava has ensued. Meanwhile, terrorist elements in Syria unfortunately managed to receive funding through crypto sources. The eradication of this would be a hoped-for resolution.

In the meantime, Syria might benefit from following the lead of many other developing countries with struggling economies, like their allies Iran and Russia, and start legitimising and standardising cryptocurrency practices in the country. This would hopefully bring about a significant boom to the recovering economy.

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1 year ago


Raïs Tarek 87 Articles
Journalist and lawyer, with a passion for global politics, economics and current affairs.