Iran is holding talks with major European nations as well as Russia, South Africa and Bosnia on carrying trade through crypto transactions according to a very brief report by the Tehran Times which says in full:
“‘Starting a new chapter in its international monetary transactions to circumvent U.S.-led sanctions, Iran is in negotiating the use of cryptocurrency in its financial transactions with eight countries,’ the acting head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) told Tasnim news agency on Monday.
‘Representatives from Switzerland, South Africa, France, England, Russia, Austria, Germany and Bosnia have visited Iran to hold related talks about the issue,’ Mohammad-Reza Modoudi said expressing hope that Iran can lure foreign investors into the country.”
This announcement is made on the very day Iran is to reveal further details on what looks like a rial stablecoin.
They seemingly plan to create a 1:1 rial crypto through a centralized national blockchain which will allow banks and potentially crypto exchanges to connect to it.
Details are sparse with it unclear for example whether this is a fork of eth, hyperledger or something else. Just as it is unclear why, in a simple design, an exchange say in Germany should trust that the Iranian Central Bank has not printed say one trillion crypto rial.
Yet one can see potential designs where such trust can be minimized by effectively allowing the exchange node to operate as an admin node or at least to “see” what the central bank admin node is doing.
However if there are non negligible amounts moving through this centralized blockchain, connecting nodes would probably require some non code-based assurances.
Otherwise the move appears to be quite smart as Europe has lifted sanctions on Iran while the United States has reinstated them.
The vastness of the US economy and its considerable dominance in the banking system can at times mean that EU can’t in practice carry out its own policy because US might control bottlenecks.
Through this blockchain system, both Iran and EU could potentially get around that and in effect make US sanctions irrelevant save for America itself.
Meaning this could be a significant geopolitical development, but whether that’s the case or not is currently not clear at all.
That’s because while it is understandable that Iran may want to keep some parts private since this is a centralized private blockchain, they do have to explain how this is conceptually meant to work so that everyone can determine whether it is just another smoke screen (as there have been plenty in this space) or whether it generally makes sense albeit with probably some problems as any system.
They are meant to reveal such details today, but when that’ll manage to travel to the english speaking world remains to be seen.