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According to the local sources, the issues start with an email received in recent days by Iranian users reads, If you have an account with Binance and fall into that [sanctions] category, please withdraw your assets from Binance as soon as possible.
Sepehr Mohamadi, chairman of the board of Blockchain Association of Iran, says that e-mails like this have been tickling since few months. However, recently their number has increased, thus resulting in renewed US sanctions, which was activated on 5 November.
Earlier, Binance declines to comment for this article. They intend to primarily close accounts of users with Iranian passports as part of the KYC process. Several Iranian traders say that this week also starts to warn about accounts. The accounts connecting Iranian IP addresses to get their cryptography.
“Iranians are not really able to trust cryptocurrency exchanges,” Nima Dehqan, a researcher at Areatak – the Tehran blockchain project, told CoinDesk. “It isn’t something new.”
Meanwhile, BitMex and Bittrex are the exchanges that ban Iranian users in the previous years. Sometimes without compensating the encryption, they had for these customers. Moreover, Dehqan says that this forces the Iranian bitcoin community to veld and create local businesses with support networks.
We do have cryptocurrency groups in Telegram or WhatsApp. Basically, for people who want to change their cryptocurrencies in person, says Dehqan. People should trust one another, as it’s a bit of closer-knit community in Iran.
Some vendors have set up physical stores and conduct traditional KYC. This was the case if Iranian authorities ask about their activities.
Binance is cutting ties with Iranian customers at a time when Iranian authorities are proceeding with plans for a national cryptocurrency similar to the Petro of Venezuela. Mahmoud Eskandari, a Tehran Binance user and blockchain developer worries about the government willing to “entirely dominate the economic crisis” by controlling the crypto market.
These concerns are driving many Iranian crypto fans to establish small mining operations, rather than depending on external platforms. Anyway, the narrowing range of exchange options has not dampened crypto fever among Iranians. Dehqan said the Binance news doesn’t have a dramatic impact on Tehran’s bitcoin community as more Iranians mine cryptocurrency or hodl their assets, to hedge against inflation than engage in speculative trading. He adds
The sanctions don’t have much effect on mining bitcoin. It’s actually profitable in Iran, compared to other countries.
Dehqan reveals that in 2018 Areatak receives inquiries for more than 1,000 colocation mining contracts. However, creating infrastructure and charging miners a percentage of their earnings, as electricity is quite cheap. Dehqan estimates that the cryptocurrency mining in Iran requires a quarter of the electricity costs.
This is less than a single cent per kilowatt hour, as compared to mining in most industrialized countries. According to Iranian news reports, local regulators are also figuring out a legal system for tallying this burgeoning mining industry.
We have a lot of investors that have visited Iran since the World Mining Summit,” Dehqan said. “All and all, you can actually access buying cryptocurrency in Iran and that’s the only thing that matters.
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