Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is recommending Islamic nations to create a cryptocurrency as an alternative to the U.S. dollar to fight U.S. ‘hegemony’. According to the official report, Rouhani proposed the creation of a Muslim cryptocurrency and platform to minimize American sanctions against Iran.
Rouhani asserted that the U.S. is ‘bullying’ other nations using economic sanctions and other tools. Iran is indeed facing numerous sanctions right now including scientific, military and economic sanctions.
Hassan Rouhani is gathering a lot of support as, Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia agrees with Rouhani’s proposal and states that he already proposed a similar idea but superpowers stopped it.
“We are hearing this for the first time — that Iran and Turkey are of the opinion that we should use an alternative to the US dollar. We can use our own currencies or have a common currency,” he said.
This is not the first time Iran shows interest in cryptocurrencies. Back in July, Mehr News Agency announced that Iran’s first cryptocurrency will be unveiled soon and would be backed by gold.
“The Iranian cryptocurrency is backed by gold but its function is similar to foreign rivals. The domestically encrypted money is to ease optimal use of Iranian banks’ frozen resources.” said Sahab Javanmardi, an official from the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
Other Cases of Cryptocurrencies to Bypass Financial Sanctions
A notable example of this practice is Venezuela with the Petro cryptocurrency which is also a resource-backed asset. The cryptocurrency was mainly created to ‘advance in issues of monetary sovereignty and make new forms of international financing’ according to Nicolas Maduro.
Unfortunately, Petro hasn’t really helped the country or its residents and it is considered a scam by most cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Of course, the U.S. used a fair amount of tools in order to stop the digital asset from gaining any traction and U.S. citizens were forbidden to invest in it.
Many other authoritarian regimes are turning to cryptocurrencies for this sole purpose including North Korea or Russia. For instance, it was discovered that North Korea has been running a Bitcoin mining operation for some time earning a minimum of $15 million but up to $200 million thanks to it.