Iran’s Central Bank has hinted at possible lifting of the current ban on digital currencies. Instead, in order to address the challenges that led to the ban, the Central Bank of Iran has announced that it will set up a regulatory taskforce in September. This is according to a report by the Financial Tribune that quoted the Central Bank’s deputy for innovative technologies, Nasser Hakimi.
According to Nasser, they are designing a legal framework that will cover several aspects. Addressing a crypto conference in Tehran, the central bank official said that the High Council of Anti-Money Laundering had imposed the ban after allegations emerged that cryptocurrencies were being used for money laundering. In its decision, the Council said cryptos were also being used to finance terrorist activities. He however, said that after much scrutiny and consideration, the government is considering reviewing the blanket ban.
The ban on crypto was announced in April and was intended to curb potential financing of terrorist activities and money laundering. However, the ban may have been ineffective as many cryptocurrency exchanges resumed their operations.
The announcement by Hakimi comes at a time when the country is in the final stages of developing a national government-backed cryptocurrency. In July, Iran announced that it will tokenize its national currency-the rial, so as to circumvent economic sanctions imposed by the United States. Commenting on the proposed government-supported virtual currency, Hakimi said that it will need a strong and prevalent support before it finally comes online.
Hakimi said that digital currencies have been a success in many parts of the world. He however said there have been dissenting voices on the matter, which prompted the Informatics Services Corporation is preparing a test edition to be used in a trial before the final version is launched. The CBI official said that the cooperation is working with other government agencies on the program.
The use of cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions.
Before Iran, Venezuela was the first to introduce a state-backed cryptocurrency as a way of mitigating the impact of economic sanctions. The Maduro regime introduced a zero tolerance to drugs. The government launched a nationwide crackdown on drug dealers and users, a move that was widely criticized by the international community for violating human rights.