Iran’s central bank has split from previous pro-Bitcoin government announcements and is now looking to “prevent” cryptocurrency, according to a report published by the Iran Front Page news site Wednesday, Feb. 21.
An article in local newspaper Iran quoted online by Iran Front Page cites the Central Bank of Iran describing cryptocurrencies as “highly unreliable and risky” this week.
The bank, the press sources claim, is now “cooperating with other institutions to develop a new mechanism to control and prevent digital currencies in Iran.”
While details remain sketchy at this stage, if true, the central bank’s tone contrasts sharply with reports last November surrounding an open reception of crypto in Iran.
At that time, regulatory body the High Council of Cyberspace made clear that rules should be in place to ensure the secure operation of assets, in line with various jurisdictions worldwide.
“We welcome Bitcoin, but we must have regulations for Bitcoin and any other digital currency... following the rules is a must,” Cointelegraph quoted Secretary Abolhassan Firouzabadi as saying.
In a move mirroring recent stages of Russia’s regulatory battle with Bitcoin meanwhile, Iran’s ICT minister also announced this week it was seeking to create a state-issued cryptocurrency.
Debating likely use cases, online commentators quickly linked the scheme to the potential to bypass international sanctions in light of Venezuela’s identical plan to use its Petro token to raise international capital this month.
Russian government sources, too, had considered the concept.