Iran’s Central Bank Coming Hard on Cryptos

In what seems to be a rather divergent news, the Iranian government has taken a harsh stance with regards to cryptocurrencies. Given the region’s current crises, and possibly sanctions, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), has shifted its focus to cryptocurrencies.

Following a circular dated Sunday the 22nd of April, 2018, banks and other financial institutions are now ban from partaking in bitcoin or other cryptocurrency transactions. This includes buying, selling, or promoting cryptocurrencies. CBI has cited the possibility of using cryptocurrencies for money laundering and financing terrorists as their core reason for the ban. The publication warns that:

"Virtual currencies have the option to be used for money laundering, supporting terrorism, and exchange of sums between wrongdoers".

While this is not unexpected, considering the current state of the region, it is a shift from what Iran’s Information and Communication Technology Minister highlighted earlier in February, stating that CBI is developing a cryptocurrency to be administered by the state government. Other officials of the state have also in time passed suggested a positive welcome to cryptocurrencies, provided they are well regulated.

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