Iran accepts cryptocurrency mining as a halal industry

September 05, 2018
Chris Wheal

Iran appears to be warming further to cryptocurrencies after the secretary of the country’s Cyberspace Council revealed that several ministries had accepted crypto mining as an industry.

Iranian to adopt crypto mining as it also mulls a national cryptocurrency to circumvent US sanctions

Domestic financial news agency IBENA cited Abolhassan Firouzabadi, secretary of the Supreme Cyberspace Council said mining cryptocurrencies had been accepted by organisations such as the Ministry of Communications and IT, the Central Bank, Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Energy.

Regulation planned

Firouzabadi said another organisation called the National Cyberspace Centre was developing a platform for cryptocurrency mining regulation. He also reiterated that the government was considering the issue of a national cryptocurrency.

The latter move was first announced in April that it had developed an experimental domestic cryptocurrency following the US withdrawal from its nuclear pact with Iran and began restoring its previous sanctions.

With a ban on buying US dollars that followed in the summer, the launch of its own national cryptocurrency Iran hopes to create a financial landscape that will help it deal with the impact of the US sanctions.

“Launching the national cryptocurrency is promising and can be used as a financial transaction instrument with Iran’s trade partners and friend countries amid economic pressures through US sanctions,” added Firouzabadi.

Cryptocurrencies: halal or haram?

Cryptocurrencies have met with mixed reactions in Islamic countries, with some even issuing fatawahs – legal rulings – regarding crypto trade: Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs said buying and selling virtual currencies was not compatible with Islam because their value was open to speculation and are used in illegal activities.

Many have now started warming to the sector, however, following a report in April by scholar Muhammed Abu Bakar: Is Bitcoin Halal or Haram?

Bakar’s conclusion was that Bitcoin was halal as long as Muslim users had intent to use is as a payment rather than an investment.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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