Bitcoin Trading Volumes Remain Low on Iranian Exchanges, Despite Political Tensions

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. escalated recently due to the shooting of a drone (by Iran’s Airforce) which Iranian authorities claim had entered their airspace - while the American government claims the aircraft never entered the restricted area.

Despite increasing tensions between Iran and the U.S., which have also been exacerbated by political and economic sanctions against the so-called rogue state, the price of bitcoin (BTC) in the Islamic state has remained fairly consistent with international rates.

According to market rates on Exir, a local cryptoasset exchange, no premium on bitcoin is being charged. Currently, there’s also no premium for trading ether (ETH) or bitcoin cash (BCH) on Exir.

Iranian Rial Stops Trading Against USD, Creates Confusion on Crypto Exchanges

As explained by TrustNodes, all three cryptos would have a huge premium if the “official exchange rate” is used. Currently, there are two different currency denominations being used on Iranian exchanges and also two different exchange rates.

Notably, Iran’s national currency is called the Iranian Rial (IRR), however it appears that there are no active trades (buy or sell orders) being placed (quoted) with it.

Tomans Being Used Instead of Iranian Rials

Moreover, the IRR - which is used by Google’s search engine for conversion - seems to have stopped trading at approximately 42,000 IRR to the USD. Should this rate still apply, then it would put bitcoin’s price at roughly $30,000.

However, only Iranian government officials might have access to this particular exchange rate - as nobody in Iran is currently using IRR. In order to conduct day-to-day transactions, Iran’s citizens may be using Tomans - which are essentially IRR, but one zero has been removed from the national currency’s price. Tomans also have their own ticker, TMN, as seen on Exir.

Only $50,000 in Bitcoin Trading Volume in Past 24 Hours

Available data shows that 13,350 TMN are equivalent to 1 USD. According to these rates, one BTC is presently trading at around 123,500,000 TMN - an amount valued at about $9,300. This rate for bitcoin is consistent with most other exchanges throughout the world.

While many countries suffering from extreme political and economic crises have experienced a dramatic surge in their bitcoin trading volumes, total 24-hour BTC trading volume on Exir is only around $50,000.

When taking Iran’s GDP into consideration - which stands at nearly $440 billion (for 2017) - it becomes clear that bitcoin may not be a widely-used means of exchanging value in the isolated nation.