BloombergBusinessWeek reports that some Iranians are turning to Bitcoin in the face of economic uncertainty, because US dollars are difficult to obtain:
Under sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies, dollars are hard to come by in Iran. The rial fell from 20,160 against the greenback on the street market in August to 36,500 rials to the dollar in October. It’s settled, for now, around 27,000. The central bank’s fixed official rate is 12,260. Yet there’s one currency in Iran that has kept its value and can be used to purchase goods from abroad: bitcoins, the online-only currency.
Compare to what I wrote in early 2011:
The anonymity, decentralized nature, and extreme versatility of Bitcoin make it an ideal form of cash for coping with the extreme uncertainty inherent to such unstable situations. Financial crises, collapsed economies, toppled governments, military conflicts: Bitcoin can survive them all.
As Bitcoin becomes easier to buy, sell, and use by regular folk, its use in extreme, difficult circumstances therefore seems inevitable to me. When people are desperate, they tend to be more willing to try new things. So long as Bitcoin works as intended, people around the planet are bound to turn to it as the currency and store or value of last resort.
As financial, economic, and political crises of all kinds continue to erupt all over the planet from time to time, demand for Bitcoin as a currency or store of value of last resort should gradually expand from niche markets to the broader population.
Slowly but surely, Bitcoin is gaining credibility with the masses.