Iran to launch native cryptocurrency soon in response to U.S. sanctions
Iran is going ahead with creating its own cryptocurrency as the country moves swiftly to counteract the impact of U.S. sanctions. Plans to create a state-owned cryptocurrency were already in place, with the government saying in April that it was working on an experimental local digital asset.
The announcement, which first appeared on Press TV – a news outlet affiliated with Iranian state-run media – was made by Alireza Daliri, deputy for management and investment affairs at the Directorate for Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Presidential Office.
Daliri said that a number of local companies with the expertise of developing virtual currencies were working with the Central Bank of Iran on this project. However, he pointed out that there was still work to be done in order to remove pre-launch flaws.
Iranian media also announced that the country had developed its first national encrypted key based on blockchain technology. This key will be introduced into Iran’s banking system within the next three months, as reported by the IRNA.
The key will be instrumental in supporting Iran’s national currency and will then be used as a token for settling transactions by banks. Commercial banks will develop smart contracts based on the token’s properties and expand their required payment services, including digital wallets.
Iran’s cryptocurrency ban
In April, the country’s central bank had banned local banks from dealing in virtual currencies amid concerns that the assets could be used for money laundering and other illegal activities.
But the ban would not affect the government’s own virtual currency that was being explored at the time, said Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, Information and Communications Technology Minister, quoted by the state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
Impending U.S. sanctions on Iran
U.S. President Donald Trump had announced in May that he would pull the U.S. out of the nuclear deal that was signed with Iran in 2015 and would reinstate sanctions that were lifted under the deal. He also warned that these economic sanctions would be at the “highest level”.
Statement on the Iran Nuclear Deal: https://t.co/O3SpryCKkc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
The sanctions include a blanket ban on Iran over buying U.S. dollars, which will be enforced next month, and restrictions over buying crude oil from the country, which be enforced by November. The president also warned that any nation that helped Iran in its nuclear program would also face strong sanctions from the U.S.
Image via Shuttestock
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