Thanks to U.S. sanctions, dollars are scarce in Iran. Enter Bitcoin, the handy-dandy stateless peer-to-peer crypto currency! Iranians are using the hard-to-trace digital currency (which can be exchanged for dollars) to buy things they want or need abroad. And Americans are using bitcoins to evade sanctions:
At online store coinDL.com, shoppers can use bitcoins to buy Beyond Matter, the latest album from Iranian artist Mohammad Rafigh. Anyone in the U.S. downloading songs, which fetch .039 bitcoins or 45¢ each, risks violating U.S. sanctions. That doesn't bother Rafigh, who's studying computer engineering as well as playing music. "Bitcoin is so interesting for me," Rafigh wrote in an e-mail. "I wish the culture of using digital money spreads all over the world, because it does not have any dependency on anything like politics." Rafigh has translated some bitcoin software into Farsi for his friends. "I love Iran, and if bitcoin is good for me, it can be good for more Iranians like me."
Here's Reason TV on Bitcoin and the end of state-controlled money: