Iran Revokes Bitcoin Ban in a Bid to Issue the Country’s own Cryptocurrency

February 18, 2019

Iran has reportedly revoked its ban on cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, in a move to eventually issue the country’s own cryptocurrency. Sources have also reported that Iran has been holding discussions with eight other nations to seek partners for the virtual currency.

The Central Bank of Iran recently published an initial draft of its cryptocurrency laws, effectively revoking the government’s ban on cryptocurrencies, digital tokens, Bitcoin, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

However, according to the draft, restrictions would continue to be imposed on transactions using cryptocurrencies in Iran. Citizens will be able to own cryptocurrencies, while businesses and banks will still be banned from using cryptocurrencies in transactions. Although the move opens more opportunities for the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the country aims to preserve the power and predominance of the rial.

Moreover, the government-issued bill states that it will legally recognize cryptocurrency exchanges, mining, and wallets. The generation of cryptocurrency through computing will also be recognized, according to the draft.

Meanwhile, the Tehran Times reported that the government of Iran has been participating in talks with up to eight countries, as it seeks to adopt cryptocurrencies as a form of payment with international organizations. Experts say the efforts demonstrate Iran’s attempt to tackle economic obstacles created by US sanctions.

Acting head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Mohammad Reza Modoudi has revealed that the country has summoned representatives from England, Russia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, France, and Bosnia to hold discussions on the launch of Iran’s own cryptocurrency.

Iran has been looking for ways to trade with other nations using other methods of payment, including cryptocurrencies, after several Iranian banks were banned from the SWIFT financial messaging service. Russia has also reportedly been experimenting with the establishment of transaction systems that will not be dependent on the SWIFT network.

Al Jazeera, meanwhile, has reported that Iran had signed an agreement with both Armenia and Russia to develop blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Senior Russian government official Yuri Pripachkin said that according to Russia’s information, an Iranian version of SWIFT is currently being developed.

Other sources have published reports indicating Iran’s determination to establish a national cryptocurrency backed by the government. The Iranian administration has introduced activities relating to the annual Electronic Banking and Payment Systems event, and many have speculated that the state’s cryptocurrency may be unveiled as part of these activities.

At the moment, it is unclear whether Iran’s cryptocurrency will become legal tender for transactions between Iran and other nations. However, experts say that any government-issued cryptocurrency in Iran will be used to make payments between institutions and banks that have made investments in the virtual currency.


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