Dollar-less Iranians Discover Virtual Currency
I’ve seen quite a few articles over the past year or so about countries looking to ditch the dollar and making transactions in gold or other currencies. According to this article, some Iranians are making transactions in virtual bitcoins (www.bitcoin.org) to get around the economic sanctions imposed on their nation. It’s a virtual currency that isn’t exactly widely accepted on the scale of the overall world economy, but there are still a lot of people worldwide willing to make transactions in this currency. There’s enough goods and services you can get with bitcoins to make these points have value.
In Discussing Alternative Currencies, I posted a video of Rob Grey of the American Open Currency Standard testifying in front of Congress on the issue of alternative currencies. To paraphrase a bit, instead of calling for an end to the Federal Reserve, he suggested that people should just start ignoring them (by using alternative currency/barter) and the government should stay out of the way. Looks like that’s pretty much what some of these people are doing in Iran by turning away from fiat currencies (theirs and foreign) and turning toward a private currency that can’t easily be touched by governments (theirs or ours).
I don’t think that the entire Iranian economy is going to shift toward these virtual bitcoins or anything, but it is an interesting story for those of us who follow these kinds of things. People will always find a way to trade with each other, even if it means switching up the medium of trade from time to time.