Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has suggested they want to legalize crypto as soon as possible, stating at a meeting of the government’s Economic Coordination Board:
“For legalising the activity of cryptocurrencies and protecting people’s capital in this area, we must think of a solution as soon as possible and lay down and communicate the necessary laws and instructions.”
Iran has not implemented any regulatory framework for cryptos, but last year they changed the law to use bitcoin for imports.
Since 2018 the country has attracted primarily Chinese miners due to its then cheap energy and its vicinity with a crypto-hostile China.
That however is apparently putting pressure on their grid, with Iran suspending crypto mining until the end of summer.
“The Ministries of Communication and Information Technology and Energy are responsible for cutting off power to these centres,” Rouhani said.
The president however implied that was quite different from cryptos themselves, calling for cooperation:
“The responsible agencies in the field of capital markets should cooperate with the media and cyberspace in the field of information, education and public awareness about this phenomenon and its instructions and laws.”
Iran is to have presidential elections next week, with it unclear what the stance of the new administration will be on cryptos.
As you can imagine initially they’ll be quite busy with a lot of other things, but bitcoin is clearly in the strategic interest of a sanctioned Iran, so it may well be just a matter of degrees of warm or neutral.