Iran may soon issue national cryptocurrency to deal with new US sanctions

Iran may soon issue a national cryptocurrency to deal with new economic sanctions enacted by the US President Donald Trump, according to a report by the country’s official news outlet PressTV.

The country’s Science and Technology Department is considering developing an “indigenous” cryptocurrency, the report said.

According to Alireza Daliri, the department’s deputy head in charge of investment affairs, the project is ongoing in cooperation with the Central Bank of Iran. The state department aims to integrate blockchain technology with the country’s central bank over the next three months.

“We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country,” Daliri said, adding that a large number of domestic knowledge-based companies have the expertise to develop digital currency. He, however, emphasised that they would still have to work on removing pre-launch flaws.

Daliri said this currency would facilitate the transfer of money (to and from) anywhere in the world and would the country at the time of sanctions, which is scheduled to go into effect next month.

In May, the US had announced its withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran along with the reactivation of economic sanctions that will restrict Iran’s access to US dollars starting from August 6.

The announcement is in line with the Iranian government’s ongoing support for developing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. In April, Daliri had doubled down on a commitment to launch a “mutual cryptocurrency” that could facilitate financial payments between domestic and foreign businesses.

The currency would be used to support Iran’s national currency and as a ‘token’ for settling financial transactions by commercial banks.  According to the report, the banks would be able to develop smart contracts based on the properties of the same indigenous token and expand their required payment services including digital wallets.


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