Iran’s Bitcoin Advocate is behind bars

Sahana Kiran
Source – Unsplash

Iran, the second-largest region in the Middle East has been enduring immense unrest. With anti-government protests intensifying, the crypto community has another reason to express concerns against the Iranian government. A prominent Iranian Bitcoin advocate, Ziya Sadr was reportedly nabbed by Iranian security forces last month. While several believe that this arrest was due to his Bitcoin advocacy, a few others were still uncertain about details pertaining to his arrest. Nevertheless, the crypto community laid out support for Sadr.

It was brought to light that Sadr was arrested in Tehran back on 19 September 2022. This was just two days after the protests for the death of 22-year Masha Amini took the front stage. During this time, Iran law enforcement was making a slew of arrests across the region. As mentioned earlier the grounds of his arrest were still under wraps.

But, several spoke up in support of Sadr and noted how he wasn’t part of the protests. While Sadr was expected to be granted bail on Sunday, his bail request did not make it through the plethora of bail requests.

Who is Ziya Sadr?

Alex Gladstein, the Chief Strategy Officer at HRF believes that Sadr “is an incredibly brave person who has helped thousands of Iranians achieve more freedom by teaching them how to use open-source currency.”

Sadr has reportedly aided in the growth of the Farsi-speaking Bitcoin community in Iran. The community has witnessed major growth since 2017 and has thousands of members who have been active on Telegram. In addition to this, Sadr’s YouTube channel is home to over 6,000 subscribers. He is known to put up Bitcoin-related content in Farsi.

It should be noted that Sadr intended to further double down on his interest in the crypto-verse. This included,

“-Translating Bitcoin software into Farsi
-Translating Bitcoin books and creating Farsi audiobooks
-Building a Bitcoin privacy-focused series based on @SamouraiWallet and @SparrowWallet”

The chances of Sadr being arrested for his Bitcoin advocacy were highly unlikely, the community speculated. This was due to the fact that Iran has been expressing interest in the crypto industry over the last couple of months.

Back in August, the country carried out its very first import order employing cryptocurrency. The Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade of Iran even said,

“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries.”

Despite the reason behind his arrest, the crypto community came forward to support Sadr and intends to get him out of prison.