Iran has moved to lift the statewide ban on Bitcoin and initial coin offerings (ICOs), paving the way for its state-backed cryptocurrency. The country reportedly sees $10 million worth of BTC in daily transactions already.
Iran Gives Bitcoin the Greenlight
The official announcement was made on the annual Electronic Banking and Payment Systems Conference which took place in Tehran.
The country’s Central Bank authorized global cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, as well as central bank digital assets such as the upcoming sovereign cryptocurrency of Iran.
Additionally, the draft regulatory framework also outlines that cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and cryptocurrency mining are also allowed.
Nevertheless, prohibitions were also put in place. The usage of “global cryptocurrencies” as payment methods within Iran is restricted. Furthermore, Iranians are prohibited from holding larger amounts of global cryptocurrencies, just as they are not allowed to hold more than EUR10,000.
The deputy governor of the Central Bank - Nasser Hakimi, made it clear that community feedback is welcomed and that the draft is still a subject to alterations.
Will a State-Backed Cryptocurrency Help Iran Bypass US-Imposed Sanctions?
The matter of a state-backed cryptocurrency has been much touted in Iran. Especially, the initiative is presented as an alternative for Iran to bypass the sanctions imposed by the US.
However, it’s questionable whether a centralized, state-backed cryptocurrency will make any difference in this regard.
As reported by Al Jazeera, cryptocurrency expert Yashar Rashedi outlined that state-backed cryptocurrencies are unlikely to replace “the likes of bitcoin” because they are, in their essence, centralized.
He also made the case that a cryptocurrency of the kind is unlikely to attribute to bypassing any sanctions because the US will ensure that it’s not included in any credible international exchange - much like the current state of the rial.
$10M Wort of BTC Transacted Daily
According to a board member of the Iranian Blockchain Association - Soheil Nikzad, the country sees around $10 million worth of Bitcoin transacted every single day.
We’re likely to see more positive developments in the field of cryptocurrencies in Iran, especially after the country recently recognized cryptocurrency mining as an industry.
However, the draft regulatory framework also stipulates that certified banks will be the only ones allowed to operate digital tokens while trading them needs to happen using licensed cryptocurrency exchanges.
Additionally, control over the operation of rial-backed sovereign cryptocurrency will be exclusively granted to the country’s central bank.
What do you think of Iran launching its own state-backed cryptocurrency and lifting the ban on other digital assets? Let us know down below!
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