Central Bank of Iran is planning to regulate virtual currencies and the blockchain technology in 2018.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency are a nascent technology which many countries still don’t know how to deal with them. Like any other innovative technology it takes some time for the regulators to catch up and take the right approach with cryptocurrencies and its evolving changes. Now, according to a report by Fars News, a new document by Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on new financial technologies shows that the country is planning to regulate blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies by the end of the first half of the Persian year 1397 (Q3 2018).

Up until now, Iran’s government has not taken a clear stance on cryptocurrency and digital payment systems. Although there are no regulations that prohibit users from exchanging online money, nonetheless there aren’t any supporting laws.

Currently, digital currencies are freely being mined, transferred online or even bought via exchange offices around the country, however, experts believe that the potentials of cryptocurrencies are not yet tapped in the country. Facilitating international trade, making transactions without an intermediary and avoiding financial restrictions/sanctions are only some of the reasons behind the popularity of digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum in Iran.

In other news, a delegation from the Central Bank of Iran attended The Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC, from October 9-15. On the sidelines of this summit, Iranian representatives discussed different approaches to expand banking relationships and removing existing barriers with the economic authorities of other countries.

Could Iran employ cryptocurrencies to overcome its challenges with international money transactions and foreign investments in the near future? For now, we have to wait and see what kind of approach the Central Bank of Iran and the National Center for Cyberspace would take towards regulating these new technologies.

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