Out of 1,650 Iranian bitcoiners surveyed in Persian Telegram groups, 25 percent earned $500 to $3,000 a month from working with cryptocurrency, according to a survey conducted by the analytics firm Gate Trade.
This data offers an exclusive peek inside the evolution of the Iranian bitcoin community, and so far it looks like the classic “store of value” investment thesis can hold water.
More than a third of respondents, 35 percent, earned that income by mining, while 58 percent earned income through trading, both via exchange platforms and grassroots networks of local money changers providing liquidity with Iranian rials.
The survey indicated strong growth in the domestic mining industry, with 70 percent of respondents expressing interest in learning more about local mining businesses.
The Iranian crypto market is shifting its dominant focus from global exchange platforms to local exchanges and miners, because most centralized exchanges with know-your-customer (KYC) compliance exclude Iranians. Roughly 83 percent of survey respondents said the community needed more robust access to exchanges in order to grow.
In the meantime, a Gate Trade spokesperson told CoinDesk that many Iranians are using VPNs and purchasing foreign ID cards on the black market to circumnavigate discrimination.
Bitcoin developer and educator Jimmy Song told CoinDesk he has seen similar developments in other regions. The conduits may differ, yet they follow familiar patterns.
“In China, there are WeChat groups [for traders] because they don’t have as much direct access to exchanges,” he said, adding:
“I’m also hearing about a price premium in Argentina, for example, because the economy is facing some issues. … What we want, for all of these places,