According to the Iranian Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Amir Hossein Davaee, Iran have been conducting studies into how to prepare an infrastructure to use Bitcoin within the country. This could lead to greater adoption in the Middle-Eastern nation.
To successfully integrate crypto, the deputy minister said that both infrastructural and economic issues needed to be addressed. Davaee told Iran’s Front Page news publication that the necessary departments were currently researching Bitcoin use and how it could benefit the state:
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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. We as the main centre in Iran dealing with the country’s technology developments have taken very seriously the issue of preparing the infrastructure for the new currency.
He went on to explain that arrangements were being made with the relevant departments to develop the necessary framework as soon as possible. For Davaee, digital infrastructure is “part of the soft power of the country” and that cryptocurrency’s introduction would be in the “general interests” of the Iran.
The announcement comes just a month after Nima Amirshekari, head of Electronic Banking at the Monetary and Banking Institute told the Financial Tribune that the Central Bank of Iran seemed positive about the use of cryptocurrencies generally. Apparently, the regulatory body are aiming to set forth their regulatory framework on digital currency by the end of September 2018. Amirshekari told the publication:
CBI views it [Bitcoin] as something that can be controlled and does not see it as multi-level marketing or a pyramid scheme.
Whilst the Iranian government are hardly known for financial liberty, the move is likely in part to try and help negate the effects of financial sanctions that have crippled the economy and domestic industry on the global level for years. It’s thought that the Trump presidency’s hostility towards the Islamic Republic of Iran has also influenced the government to seek ways to bypass international trade sanctions using Bitcoin.
The Middle-Eastern state exists largely outside of global banking networks, thanks to the nuclear missile creating and testing programs. It therefore comes as little surprise to learn that the nation seeks to follow North Korea’s lead in embracing the revolutionary currency and technology to circumvent trade embargoes and the like.