Iran is about to make a u-turn after their central bank banned cryptos earlier this year and begun censoring crypto exchanges.
According to local media citing Fars News, Iran’s parliament, called the Majlis, has set up a crypto related working group.
“The final decision has not been made yet, but a working group in the Majlis Social Commission is studying it to establish online exchanges for virtual currencies, mining of virtual currencies and what currencies will be declared legal,” Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the head of the High Council of Cyberspace, says.
By mining cryptos presumably they mean businesses or citizens doing so, rather than the government itself, but it’s not clear at this stage.
What is clear, however, is that cryptocurrencies appear to be high on the agenda in Iran, including the president himself.
Firouzabadi apparently attended a meeting this Saturday chaired by President Hassan Rouhani to discuss “cryptocurrencies in the national economy.”
The discussion included Iran’s own plans to launch what sounds like an oil backed government bond token similar to Venezuela’s Petro.
They also further discussed using “foreign cryptocurrencies,” by which they presumably mean bitcoin or ethereum that run on a global network.
Little further detail is provided, but US sanctions are to be re-instated on Iran this month. That may make it difficult for them to make international payments, with cryptos potentially a work around.
The mention of mining is very interesting because Iran’s government could “produce” bitcoin or eth themselves if they have enough Asics or GPUs.
As cryptos run on their own global network without needing any bank or intermediaries, they could then pay for goods or services with the mined cryptos.
Whether that is what they are planning is unclear at this stage, but necessity might force them to look at all potential avenues.