Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: Report

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Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: Report

According to the head of Iran’s Blockchain Association, over 500 BTC belonging to Iranians were confiscated by the U.S. government last year, and the number is still rising. He explains that Iranians are unable to take action through proper channels from within their country due to Iran’s legal status of cryptocurrency.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Iranians’ 500 BTC Seized by US Government

Sepehr Mohammadi, the president of Iran’s Blockchain Association, told Ibena news outlet last week:

Last year, a remarkable volume of bitcoins which belonged to some Iranians were confiscated for unspecific reasons by the federal government of the United States, and the process of confiscation is still continuing.

Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: ReportHe admitted that the exact number of confiscated BTC “is not clear, but it is expected to be over 500 bitcoins, worth approximately 25 billion tomans ($5.77 million)” at the time, the publication quoted him.

“Some people believe that this confiscation is because bitcoin owners were circumventing U.S. sanctions,” Mohammadi added.

Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: ReportRecently, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the government of Iran is considering using cryptocurrencies to evade long-held U.S. economic sanctions. Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi, the chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Economic Commission, said in an interview with Mizan news agency on July 15 that digital currencies are among the major mechanisms that Iran can use to the evade the sanctions. He noted that the Iranian parliament will soon discuss this issue.

Legal Challenge

Mohammadi further explained to Ibena the challenges Iranian citizens face to recover their cryptocurrencies:

The owners of confiscated bitcoins are unable to take legal action against the U.S. inside Iran as cryptocurrencies are banned in the country. The association is looking to take international legal action, but they have not yet found a legal expert in anti-money laundering law who will handle the case.

Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: Report
Central Bank of Iran.

In April, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) banned banks and financial institutions in the country from dealing with cryptocurrencies. The CBI claimed that “All cryptocurrencies have the capacity to be turned into a means for money laundering and financing terrorism and in general can be turned into a means for transferring criminals’ money.”

Nonetheless, Pour-Ebrahimi told Ibena in May that even though “few people in Iran are cryptocurrency users,” according to his data, “more than 2.5 billion dollars has been sent out of the country for buying digital currencies.”

What do you think of the US government seizing Iranians’ BTC? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Financial Tribune.

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Costa Rican Workers Can Be Legally Paid in Cryptocurrency

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Costa Rican Workers Can Be Legally Paid in Cryptocurrency

Employees in Costa Rica can receive part of their salary in cryptocurrency and that wouldn’t be against the law. Certain provisions in the national legislation allow companies to pay their workers not only with fiat money but also with goods, and some legal experts believe cryptos can fit in this category. Besides, Costa Rican laws provide for the use of commonly accepted assets as means of payment.   

Also read: New BATM Supporting BTC, BCH Launches in Sofia

Cryptos in Costa Rica Can Be Goods, Assets, Quasi-Money

Workers in Costa Rica may soon start receiving a portion of their salary in cryptocurrency, local media reported. As far as Costa Rican law is concerned, there is no reason this cannot happen. The country’s legislation allows employers to partly remunerate their staff with goods that are not currency, as long as the legal minimum wage is paid in money. It also develops the concept of “quasi-money”, or any asset that can be used as a means of payment and has been widely accepted as such in the society.

Costa Rican Workers Can Be Legally Paid in Cryptocurrency“This is a trend that could take hold in the country,” said Rolando Perlaza who is working at Nassar Abogados, a prominent law firm in Central America. “This type of payment would in no way replace traditional or liquid cash. It would rather become an incentive for the workers, who could decide if they accept these currencies as payment for their services,” the expert elaborated, quoted by the Costa Rican News. He also emphasized that in any case employees are protected by article 166 of the country’s Labor Code.

The publication notes that in October last year, the Central Bank of Costa Rica (CBCR) issued a directive which established that cryptocurrencies are outside the national banking system. The document also indicated that carrying out any type of commercial transactions with digital coins is a “limited option” in the country. Along with that, the central bank warned that those who use cryptocurrencies assume the associated financial risks.

Costa Rica’s Growing Crypto Sector

Costa Rican Workers Can Be Legally Paid in CryptocurrencyDespite CBCR’s assessment, the local crypto sector has been developing steadily in recent years with a growing number of merchants and other businesses, including many hotels and companies from the tourism industry, accepting cryptocurrencies as a legitimate payment method. Costa Rica, which has remained relatively open towards business ventures in the crypto space, has also seen a number of bitcoin ATMs popping up in the capital San Jose and elsewhere.

According to the report, the Latin American country also offers favorable conditions for crypto mining thanks to its renewable sources. “Our Costa Rica-based crypto mining facility utilizes renewable energy options such as solar and wind. We think renewable energy has to be an essential part of any crypto related project. This green approach is good both for us and for the planet and makes the new business opportunities even better,” said Daniel Yépez, a local crypto entrepreneur. “Cryptocurrencies are here to stay and we are embracing the changes,” added Yépez whose company, SH Mining Technologies, specializes in providing cloud mining services.

Can cryptocurrencies be used as legal means of payment under the current legislation in your country? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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