The economic sanctions that the United States has put on Iran over the past two years have been successful, lowering the Iranian economy by 10 to 20 percent. But they have also increased Iran's use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin which are gradually being used by the Iranian government and public to circumvent legal barriers. This led to an effort by foreign regulators to block bitcoin — but the crypto-currency industry is proving more resilient than sanctions enforcers.
The government is keen to use cryptocurrencies to support international exchange outside of the traditional banking system. A news agency has collaborated with the Central Bank of Iran and declared few characteristics of the national cryptocurrency, saying it would be backed by Iran's national currency.
In 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department's Foreign Asset Control Office added to its Specially Designated Nationals List two Iranian individuals and their bitcoin addresses. These addresses handled more than 7,000 bitcoin transactions worth millions of dollars, according to the forensic analysis of the Treasury Department. Besides other criminal activity and numerous scams, one of the driving factors for heavy regulation in the area was the use of cryptocurrency by regimes such as Venezuela and Iran.