Iranian security forces have taken Ziya Sadr into custody, a Bitcoin advocate. Multiple sources confirmed the incident, which was first reported by The Guardian on Sunday.
Sources say that Sadr was taken into custody in Tehran on September 19. Sadr has not been seen since.
Sadr’s arrest came amid widespread anti-government protests following the killing of a 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini who died in police custody. The widespread protests led to the arrest of at least 35 journalists by Iranian authorities.
Sadr is currently held at Fashafouyeh Prison. He remains in contact with his close family and friends. However, no reason has been given for his arrest.
Sources claimed Sadr was not involved in any protest at Sadr’s arrest. Although he was supposed to be released by bail on Sunday, the delays caused by protests in other parts of the country meant that bail requests were delayed.
Sadr is one of many Iranian activists and residents detained by the government during the weeks that followed the protests. It is unknown if the Iranian government’s interest in Sadr is associated with his Bitcoin advocacy.
Sadr is a Youtuber and popular Bitcoin educator. He also advocates for the technology. He is a translator of Bitcoin content into Farsi, and promotes privacy-focused Bitcoin transactions.
Ziya Sadr (a Tehran-based bitcoin expert) was last year. disclosed the role that Bitcoin plays for Iran’s economy amid sanctions levelled against the country. Iran uses cryptocurrencies to anonymize transactions. This allows local firms and users to bypass economic sanctions which have severely affected the economy.
Sadr said: “Iranians understand the value of such a borderless network much more than others because we can’t access any kind of global payment networks. Bitcoin shines here.”
Since former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, crypto has surged in popularity in the Islamic nation.