Crypto startups based in Iran are not immune to US sanctions as they had assumed. To tow with US laws, Binance has time and again deactivated accounts held by Iranians and Cubans. In November 2021, ConsenSys Academy banned about 50 Iranian students. The leading Ethereum-centric educational platform defended its move by telling the Iranian students that the institute did so under US law. According to CoinDesk, the academy said that ConsenSys is committed to building the digital economy of tomorrow. And it is abiding by US law.
And this seems to have opened up a jar of worms. Salman Sadeghi, a former program participant at ConsenSys Academy, says Iranians are being treated like ‘second-class citizens. He highlighted that the common men like him had to face the brunt of the US government sanctions. Sadeghu said it just wasn’t fair.
Thousands of Iranian students keen to take up blockchain and cryptocurrency as a career have been affected by program withdrawal and rejection from US companies. They have described this as ‘humiliating’. They have lost hope of keeping up with the fast development and pace of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
According to the Report of the Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force, rogue states like Iran, Russia, and North Korea may take up cryptocurrency to fund cyber attacks and blunt the impact of US and international sanctions. It acknowledged that these challenges impact the security and legitimacy of the cryptocurrency itself. The report says that identifying and responsibly addressing this will mitigate the risks of cryptocurrency.
It added that cryptocurrencies’ use of private blockchains makes it difficult to trace transactions which in turn could impact the nation’s security.