Iran is beating the crypto drums amid a plunging Rial and biting US sanctions that have led to some turmoil in ancient Persia.
President Hassan Rouhani has ordered a speeding up of crypto plans. Khosro Farahi, CEO of Iranian Post Bank which is overseeing the crypto plans, said that a document detailing the Iranian digital money had been prepared and will be published next week.
In more familiar language, it sounds like they’ll be publishing a whitepaper detailing what we suspect, based on their previous comments, is a plan to launch probably oil backed tokenized-bonds, Venezuelan style.
What exactly they plan, however, is unclear, but what does seem clear is that the Iranian government is now or is preparing to in effect order the Iranian Central Bank to stand down.
The Central Bank there declared cryptos to be illegal this April. No such law has been passed, but Central Banks have jurisdiction over the financial system, so they can just tell banks to stop serving crypto businesses.
Azari Jahromi (pictured above), the Iranian IT Minister who has led the crypto efforts, told local media:
“A new attitude that has been created in the government is that the digital money does not necessarily pose a security threat and can create opportunities for the country.”
Jahromi is to jointly chair a crypto related meeting with the Iranian Central Bank next week. He said all studies had been concluded regarding the Iranian crypto and it sounds like they’re basically now ready to begin the launch process.
The idea here seems to be the tapping of a global network that doesn’t need banks or other intermediaries for value transfers.
The local media there cites Brave New World Investments, a Swedish start-up that used bitcoin to get money in and out of Iran with the aim of investing in Tehran’s stock market.
Their plans were cut short, however, by the Central Bank’s ban. In a statement on April 23rd, Brave New World Investments said:
“The Central Bank of Iran has decided to ban cryptocurrency dealings after a long period of uncertainty regarding the legality of the asset class inside the Islamic republic. Brave New World Investments are therefore suspending their plans in relation to Iran, effective immediately.”
It now looks likely the Central Bank’s ban will be overturned, with Iran so engaged in a global chess game that is now tapping into crypto to get an upper hand.