Malta-based digital asset trading platform, Binance, has advised crypto traders in Iran to withdraw their funds from its exchange - as it is planning to comply with US-led international sanctions against the state.
An email sent from Binance’s support team to an Iranian citizen advised: “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, the head of Iran’s Blockchain Association, said there have been many incoming emails in recent months that have requested local crypto traders to withdraw their funds from international digital currency exchanges.
Binance To Comply With International Sanctions
In order to remain compliant with internationally imposed sanctions, Binance had specifically been moving toward closing down accounts which had been verified using Iranian passports.
Binance has also started to tell its account holders who are linked to Iranian IP addresses to start withdrawing funds from its exchange.
Nima Dehqan, a Tehran-based blockchain researcher, told CoinDesk that “Iranians are not really able to trust cryptocurrency exchanges. That isn’t really something new.”
BitMEX, Bittrex Ban Iranian Traders
Notably, Seychelles-registered and Hong Kong-operated crypto derivatives trading platform, BitMEX, and US-based exchange, Bittrex, have also banned Iranian citizens from their platforms.
There have also been reports of some exchanges not refunding user assets, after their account had been closed.
John Collins, partner at Washington-based consulting firm, FS Vector, and former head of policy at Coinbase, said:
It would be difficult [for the exchanges] to serve users in these jurisdictions if they want to serve American citizens. It’s logical to say that many companies are looking to the States right now and adapting to the U.S. regulation.
Close-Knit Local Community To Help Crypto Traders
In order to help local traders deal in digital currencies, Dehqan has been contributing to various support groups. He explained:
We do actually have cryptocurrency groups in Telegram or WhatsApp for people who want to change their cryptocurrencies in person. People have to trust each other. It’s a bit of closer-knit community in Iran.
Dehqan believes that Binance’s decision to not serve Iranian citizens will not adversely affect the nation’s crypto economy. He revealed that most Iranians are involved in mining digital currencies, and “hodling” them for long-term gain, or to hedge against the high-rate of inflation in the country.
As CryptoGlobe reported, Iran’s government is moving forward with its plans to launch a national cryptocurrency. This, despite the severe restrictions placed on the country due to crippling US-led economic and political sanctions.