جمهوری اسلامی ایران The Islamic Republic of Iran has apparently changed course on cryptocurrency, or perhaps it has clarified its real position previously mischaracterized by the press. It’s increasingly difficult to get a real handle on the official status of crypto in the Persian homeland.
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Iran to Control and Prevent Cryptocurrency
Hamed Jafari reported as soon as two weeks ago, Iran was considering issuing “a local cryptocurrency, a cryptocurrency consortium with specific countries and regulating the already established cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.” Not more than last week, International Business Times insisted “a half dozen contenders” in Iran were vying to bring the country its first set of initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Indeed, Iran under the weight of international sanctions seems to be a perfect breeding ground for cryptocurrency. Paypal, Mastercard, Visa are all forbidden. Its fiat currency continues to fall against the dollar to all-time lows even as its regime struggled recently to reform interest rates and forgive loans. Crypto might be a way around pretty brutal financial conditions. Reports last year seemed to suggest the country was considering as much.
Iran Front Page, however, an independent news aggregation site, is throwing cold water on region some by insisting the Iranian central bank never recognized bitcoin as legal tender. The banker also said it had no intention of “actively facilitating Bitcoin transactions.”
Indeed the bank is reported to have explained how “wild fluctuations of the digital currencies along with competitive business activities underway via network marketing and pyramid scheme [tactics]have made the market of these currencies highly unreliable and risky.” Additionally, Iran’s central bank is said to be looking at a way to “control and prevent digital currencies in Iran.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean ICOs can’t take place, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence Iranians are interested in cryptocurrency even if their government is not. Enthusiasts’ hopes were not entirely dashed as reports also explained the country’s technology minister confirmed rumors about a local cryptocurrency, state backed. After further warning about the “high risks of making investment in” cryptos such as bitcoin, saying Iranians might lose “their financial assets” as a result, “Iran’s [Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)] Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi also declared on Wednesday that Iran’s Post Bank is working on a locally-developed cryptocurrency, which needs to be tested by the ICT ministry.”
What do you think about Iran’s plans? Are they viable? Let us know in the comments section.
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Author: C. Edward Kelso