Iran prepares to lift ban on cryptocurrencies

August 28, 2018
Chris Wheal

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is expected to reverse its existing ban on cryptocurrencies and set up a framework to regulate them by late September, according to a recent report in the Financial Tribune.

In April this year, the CBI banned crypto trading as part of a  move to combat money laundering and also to prevent the potential use of digital coins to support terrorist activity.

Speaking at a blockchain and crypto conference held in Tehran over the weekend, Nasser Hakimi, the central bank’s deputy for innovative technologies, said: “The first concerns the prevalent global cryptocurrencies. The High Council of Anti-Money Laundering has imposed a ban in light of concerns over global allegations of money laundering and financing of terrorism. But it seems that after the government’s consideration, this blanket ban will be reviewed.”

The ban itself was not a huge success as crypto exchanges soon resumed operations, so the emphasis now is more on setting up rules for digital assets.

Iran’s central bank is planning to introduce a tokenized rial

Hakimi spoke of impending crypto regulation as well as details of Iran’s proposed national virtual currency – a tokenized rial – designed to circumvent US-led sanctions imposed on its economic system.

Regarding the intended state-backed cryptocurrency, Hakimi insisted it first needs a “suitable and prevalent backing.”

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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