US regulator asked domestic exchanges not to allow Iran to bypass economic sanctions with the help of cryptocurrency.
On Friday, an advisory published by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) mentions that the total number of annual crypto transactions in Iran is worth $3.8 million. It calls this use of digital coins rather small, but still virtual currencies can be used as a way to evade sanctions.
Consequently, the advisory asks exchanges to review any activities that takes place in Iran, as they may thrive rather quickly there.
In May 2018, current US administration made an announcement about the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran and imposed economic sanctions to give Iran no access to American dollars since August 6.
The advisory also mentions that in spite of the official prohibition to trade cryptocurrencies issued by the Central Bank of Iran, there are physical parties and companies that use crypto exchanges in Iran and the USA.
FinCEN also warned about regulatory obligations supported by local exchanges that have undergone a registration as financial institutions according to the Bank Secrecy Act. One of such obligations is compilation with the sanctions requirements too.
In July, after the introduction of sanctions, Iran also made an announcement about a plan to introduce a state cryptocurrency as a countermeasure.