Regulation of cryptocurrency and blockchain in Iran

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Blockchain Lawyer Iran

Blockchain Lawyer Iran

Although Iran has officially banned cryptocurrencies, changes for the future are detected.

From an economic point of view Iran, is pressed by economic sanctions imposed by U.S. That is one of the reasons why Iran is slowly turning to cryptocurrencies, also speculation.

We are a legal firm specialized in Blockchain, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts.

In fact in May 2018, the Chairman of the Economic Commission of the Parliament, Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, highlighted that:

“No virtual national currency has been designed in the country at the present and based on the existing data few people in Iran are cryptocurrencies’ customer and more than 2.5 billion dollars has been sent out of the country for buying digital currencies, added point most of the digital currency activists enter this arena because of the huge benefits and speculation”[1].


The Central Bank of Iran (CBI)

Has officially prohibited all financial institutions from handling cryptocurrencies. The decision was taken during the 30th meeting of the High Council of Anti-Money Laundering on December 30, 2017[2].

The decision includes banks, credit institutions, and also bans currency exchanges from buying and selling virtual currencies or adopting measures to facilitate or promote them.


Previously, the CBI had only sought to warn people of the potential risks inherent in them, as the regulator has yet to announce its official stance[3].


Valiollah Seif, Governor of the monetary regulator (CBI), has said it “does not approve of Bitcoin in any way”. Also echoed his past remarks and told that people must remain very cautious as there is much risk involved. And that “there are safer options for investors and taking such a gamble and irrational risk is not at all beneficial”[4].


Also Iran’s Central Bank announced in late April 2018[5] that it was prohibiting all Iranian financial institutions from handling cryptocurrencies over concerns the technology could be used illegally.


It said Bitcoin could be “turned into a means for money-laundering and financing terrorism” and “a means for transferring criminals money“.


The Central Bank’s decision was in line with the Iran’s recent efforts to address deficiencies in its policies on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. Efforts undertaken to comply with the action plan of the Financial Action Task Force on Money-Laundering (FATF). The FATF is an intergovernmental organization established to combat international money-laundering and terrorist financing.


Also the head of the Majlis (Parliament) Economic Commission offered a religious objection to cryptocurrencies. He stated that “Deals and transactions made through Bitcoin are in no way in accordance with Islamic and economic fundamentals, therefore related entities, especially the central bank, must exert the necessary supervision over these deals.[6]”.



Change of regulation in Iran?

The Central Bank of Iran has released an early draft of its regulations on cryptocurrencies, reversing a previous ban, but still imposing restrictions on the use of the digital currency inside the Islamic Republic. However, the central bank said, “Using global cryptocurrencies as methods of payment inside the country is prohibited” [7].


Even more, some people are announcing the launching of an ICO from Iran[8].



Iranian cryptocurrency

In February 2018, Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi announced a plan to develop Iran’s own virtual currency. The project was also backed by Iran’s cyber-security authority, which said it would support virtual currencies if they were properly regulated. The central bank did not agree.


In July 2018, Alireza Daliri, deputy for management and investment at the Directorate for Scientific and Technological Affairs, revealed that plans for the creation of a national virtual currency were being developed: “We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country… This currency would facilitate the transfer of money (to and from) anywhere in the world. Besides, it can help us at the time of sanctions”[9].


Effectively, one of the motivations for developing such a currency is that it could potentially be used as a defense against the US sanctions over Iran.


Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, the head of the Iranian Parliamentary Commission for Economic Affairs, referred to cryptocurrencies as a promising way to avoid US dollar transactions. It would be also a possible replacement of the SWIFT interbank payment system.

At a meeting with Dmitry Mezentsev, in may 2018, the Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy, Pourebrahimi said that they have “engaged the Central Bank of Iran to start developing proposals for the use of cryptocurrency”. Apparently there is a cooperation with Russia in this regard. In this sense Pourebrahimi added that “They [Russia] share our opinion. We said that if we manage to move this work forward, then we will be the first countries that use cryptocurrency in the exchange of goods”[10].


Masoud Khatouni, a senior member at Iran’s biggest bank had come out in favor of cryptocurrencies. He called for them to be recognized and widely accepted in the banking system.

“Iran must formally recognize activities using digital currencies as they are currently shaping the future of banking. Banks themselves must also enter this field to use them“.


He also stated that “The future of banking throughout the world is intertwined with digital currencies, which are entering the banks silently as most banks remain oblivious to their presence”. And he demanded “I ask central bank officials to refrain from creating restrictions for digital currencies by way of laws and regulations, because based on the current realities of the world, they have taken form and the Iranian people have also moved toward them,” [11].


Also, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, Iran’s High Council of Cyberspace, has welcomed the idea of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies if they are harnessed by clearly-stated regulations. He is one of the main entities deciding the fate of virtual currencies in Iran[12]. He thinks that “We [at the HCC] welcome Bitcoin, but we must have regulations for Bitcoin and any other digital currency. Studies are necessary for considering a new currency”.

Recently, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Muslim nations to deepen financial and trade cooperation to fight what he described as U.S. economic hegemony. “The Muslim world should be designing measures to save themselves from the domination of the United States dollar and the American financial regime,” he said at the opening ceremony of a three-day conference that includes leaders from Turkey, Qatar and host Malaysia. Some interpret these words as a nod to cryptocurrencies.



Iran’s government has officially recognized cryptocurrency mining as an industry[13].

“A mechanism to mine digital coins was approved by the government’s economic commission and will later be put to discussion at a cabinet meeting,” said Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati[14].


Mining digital currencies is allowed inside Iran under certain condition. But the government and the banking system would not view the digital coins as legal tender and the Central Bank of Iran would not guarantee their value. Even more the government will not recognize as lawful any trade activity carried out inside Iran involving cryprocurrencies[15].


In order to mine cryptocurrency in Iran, local miners will have to get approval from Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. Also ensure that their mining facilities are located outside a 30-kilometer perimeter of all provincial centers in the country[16].


Finally it seems that Iranian government seems to be bullish on crypto’s underlying technology. In August, Iran’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ministry and the National Library signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to use blockchain to digitize the country’s archives[17].


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[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] For more information contact

blockchain lawyer, top blockchain lawyers, blockchain, blockchain and lawyers, blockchain smart contracts and lawyers, lawyer blockchain, best blockchain lawyers, blockchain lawyer Spain, Blockhain lawyer Madrid, Blockchian Lawyer Barcelona, Blockchain Lawyer Sevilla, Blockchain Laywer Pamplona.

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