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The Iranian government is preparing its infrastructure that will see the country adopting bitcoin, according to a high ranking government official.
Speaking with Farsi newspaper Shargh, Amir Hossein Davaee, Iranian deputy minister of information and communication technology, said:
“The ministry of communications and information technology has already conducted a number of research studies as part of efforts to prepare the infrastructure to use bitcoin inside the country.”
A report from the Iran Front Page states that Davaee said that digital infrastructure is part of the soft power of each country and that the addition of bitcoin into Iran will greatly benefit the country’s interests.
“Arrangements are being made with the related organisations to put together the infrastructure as early as possible,” Davaee added.
In January, it was reported that the chief executive of Iran’s Tejrat Bank had stated that the emergence of bitcoin and the blockchain would change how banks operate in the country, according to regional publication Banker.ir. Speaking at an expert panel at the time, Mohammad Ibrahim Moqaddam, said that ‘hesitation is not the proper response’ when it comes to embracing digital currencies.
News of Iran’s decision comes at a time when bitcoin is experiencing a surge in value. On Sunday, bitcoin’s price surpassed its previous high of $6,150, reaching over $6,300 for the first time. As of Monday, though, the cryptocurrency’s value has dropped slightly and is currently trading above $6,000 with a market cap worth $101 billion. Ethereum is trailing significantly behind in second place with a market cap worth $29.1 billion.
One factor that could be impacting bitcoin’s price is the recent fork, which saw the creation of bitcoin gold. How this will impact bitcoin’s price remains to be seen; however, this is the second split with the digital currency. In August, the community saw the addition of bitcoin cash. Interestingly, though, while bitcoin cash has been proclaimed as the answer to bitcoin’s shortcomings it has had relatively little impact on bitcoin’s value. Speculation remains as to whether bitcoin gold will face the same outcome.
Yet, while new coins may appear investor confidence seems to be remaining with bitcoin as the dominant digital currency on the market.
Despite negativity from the likes of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, and more recently, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who claim that bitcoin is in a bubble and will eventually fail, its price has remained relatively stable.
With only two months left of 2017, it remains to be seen how much further the digital currency can rise.