New York (AP) Iranian authorities say the country’s cryptocurrency market has doubled since January, a phenomenon that experts say is fueled by government support for the digital currency.
The country’s official news agency IRNA said on Tuesday the digital coin market cap increased from $15 billion in January to $30 billion in December.
It also said the value of its private crypto market has more than tripled in the same period, to $400 billion.
The rise is not as drastic as in the United States or China, where the value has declined from a peak of $5 billion in mid-January.
But it is a big jump compared to other countries, where coins like bitcoin have remained relatively flat.
The increase comes after a crackdown on digital currency trading in Iran last month.
The country has also banned the sale of cryptocurrencies, with the government warning anyone using them will be prosecuted.
The IRNA report said Iran has a total of about $4.4 trillion in cryptocurrency and other assets.
It said Iran is one of the top five crypto-investment markets in the world, and the country has about $1 trillion in assets in cryptocurrency, mainly in the form of stocks, bonds and currency.
The IRNA also reported that the total value of Iranian assets in cryptocurrencies is about $10 trillion.
Iran has about 40% of the world’s total crypto-cap, according to CoinMarketCap.com, but about 30% of crypto’s value.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, which are traded on exchanges like Coinbase, were not mentioned in the IRNA article, but the IRna report said they have been rising in value.