Ziya Sadr spoke with Let’s Talk Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency podcast, about the importance of Bitcoin in Iran. He discussed how it allows great financial freedom for the Iranian people, and how Bitcoin is superior to other cryptocurrencies in Iran.
“The thing about bitcoin is that we are on equal ground with the rest of the world and that is nice for a change,” Mr. Sadr, who is 25 years old, told the long-serving podcast. “We’ve never been on equal ground. We’ve had inflation, we’ve been sanctioned by the whole world. With Bitcoin, we are on equal ground with the rest of the world and this is kind of new.”
He sees Iranian freelancers using bitcoin to outsource their work to other parts of the world, and people sending bitcoin from abroad as remittances. He believes something like Bitcoin is easy for the Iranian people to use, as they already incorporate privacy-preserving technology into their digital lives.
“Here in Iran, we use VPNs all the time,” said Sadr. “People should know that using VPNs is not to bypass censorship. It’s good for privacy and security. And people in the US and Europe rarely use it, but here even my grandfather uses VPN.”
“[Iran is] paving this path for Bitcoin communities all over the world to see us use bitcoin,” he says, while admitting most users are speculators. “We feel the need for it much sooner than in other countries, which more stable than us.”
While $10,000 worth of bitcoins would take a long time to exchange into local currency, it would take Sadr twenty minutes to turn $100 worth of bitcoin into local currency. He first reaches out to his connections, some of whom he can contact on messaging app Telegram.
“Since there is no alternative, it’s not like we can use PayPal or western union, Bitcoin is the only option we have,” says Sadr. “But still, the thing is we can’t use other cryptocurrencies, because they don’t have enough liquidity. You won’t find someone who will buy or sell to you. Maybe you’ll find some people who will buy or sell Ethereum, but 99% of the time its all bitcoin.”
He says this is, in part, due to all the various tools the Bitcoin ecosystem provides. “You can use a lot of different wallets, you can use multi-sig, but you can’t find these tools for most of the coins out there,” he says. Mostly, it is due to the cardinal cryptocurrency’s liquidity.
Big companies, too, are exploring how bitcoin might help their bottom line. “I see a lot of big companies interested in educating themselves and studying [bitcoin’s] feasibility to be used as an alternative to the current situation,” he says. “They have a lot of troubles with the ways they conduct their business and the ways they transfer money abroad, so big companies from different industries, like food, are studying the feasibility of using it.”
Sadr has been a member of the Iranian Bitcoin company for a few years now, and regularly grants interviews to the foreign press. He told New York Times that he depended upon bitcoin in order to get paid by foreign customers.
“There is no other way for us, Bitcoin cannot be sanctioned by anyone,” he said. “Not by the U.S. government or any other government or other financial entities.”