Is the Middle East Conflict Driving Bitcoin Demand in Iran?
Now that the dust seems to be settling in Iran, bitcoin has retreated back below $8,000 again. Price movements were definitely correlated with breaking news but how has BTC interest in the area been affected?
Are Iranians Interested In Bitcoin?
There is no doubting that bitcoin has cemented itself as a store of value asset this year. Its highly correlated price movements with those of gold reaffirm its safe haven status.
As geopolitical tensions have eased a little, the prices of BTC have also retracted. It has now fallen back to the $7,800 zone where it appears to be consolidating at the moment. Gold prices have also retreated and are hovering at $1,550, down 3% from the six year peak a couple of days ago.
Interest in BTC usually spikes in countries where economic or geopolitical tensions have spiked but this does not appear to be the case in Iran.
LongHash has been delving into the data and has discovered that bitcoin prices are not soaring in Iran and demand remains unchanged.
The exchange rate between the Iranian Rial and USD would affect the local price of BTC, as it has soared since sanctions were imposed. The Iran bitcoin frenzy was brought about by ridiculous prices quoted on LocalBitcoins but the actual price appears to be closer to what is being paid globally. The report added;
Additionally, it’s worth noting that as this crisis may be further devaluing the IRR, Iranians might actually be paying less per Bitcoin than the rest of us
Google searches also fail to indicate that there has been any increased interest or demand for bitcoin since the conflict began.
Over the past week there have been no spikes in BTC searches, and general interest appears to be down overall. Additionally, the Farsi term for Bitcoin is a less popular Google search term in Iran than ‘Bitcoin’ itself.
LocalBitcoins volume is another indicator and according to coin.dance it has pretty much dried up. The regime cutting off internet access in recent months will have undoubtedly impacted people’s ability to buy and sell bitcoin.
So it appears that there has been no local increase in demand or interest in BTC in Iran following recent events.
The global picture tells a different story however as the asset has climbed 8.5% since the beginning of the year and spiked to a seven week high when as the conflict intensified and the news broke.
Why are Iranians not interested in bitcoin? Add your comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Charts by Coin.dance