The chairman of the Economic Committee of Iran’s parliament has revealed that it’s country has spent over $2.5 billion to acquire cryptocurrencies.

The chairman exposed this after the Central Bank of Iran(CBI) banned local banks from exploring digital assets. The Central Bank of Iran placed this ban to avoid money laundering, identity theft and terrorism sponsorship.

In a report by News Agency, the chairman of the Economic Commission of the Parliament of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi stated that:

“Based on the existing data, few people in Iran are cryptocurrency users and more than $2.5 billion dollars has been sent out of the country for buying digital currencies.”

He earlier said that the Iranians had transferred $30 billion out of the country over the few months ending. “Iranians do not have access to international banking system and the transfers can only occur through unconventional ways, such as exchange dealers or international travelers” he explained to Radio Farda, an Iranian radio station.

According to Forbes, there are currently 17 people in Iran selling Bitcoin via the website LocalBitcoins, which connects buyers and sellers in many countries around the world.

Pourebrahimi believes that Iran’s national cryptocurrency can “facilitate  economic deals and circumvent sanctions, the future of the world economy will be done on digital currencies, The structure of the cryptocurrency should be suitable for economic  activity and be acceptable the international level simultaneously.”  He is assured that one important benefit of cryptocurrencies “is the absence of  American regulator” which can circumvent sanctions.

The future of cryptocurrencies in Iran may not lie with Bitcoin, or other decentralised currencies, but with the government itself. An Iranian minister revealed a state-backed digital currency project for the country’s banking system in February. However, if the recent example of Venezuela’s Petro is anything to go by, it will not be anything more then a state-run scam.