Iran will pilot a “national cryptocurrency” and amend the Central Bank Law

The recently appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ali Salehabadi announced that Iran’s “national cryptocurrency” is about to enter the pilot phase. The senior official told reporters after the first meeting with lawmakers that regulators are studying the potential risks and benefits associated with the plan.

He explained: "Once the Monetary and Credit Committee approves, the pilot test will begin."

The new phase of the project is likely to be consistent with the earlier national cryptocurrency development plan.

Three years ago, Informatics Services Corporation, a subsidiary of CBI, was responsible for developing a sovereign digital currency. The company operates the country's bank automation and payment service network.

The digital version of the rial, the national legal currency of the Islamic Republic, was developed on a private blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies based on public blockchains (such as Bitcoin), tokens issued by the Iranian state will not be mined.

Until recently there was news that a "crypto rial" project was underway, and the public did not know the latest progress of this preliminary project. Officials emphasized that Iranian cryptocurrency will be a digital currency circulated by CBI, not a decentralized cryptocurrency that can be used for small cashless transactions.

In addition to the digital currency statement, the new management of the central bank and members of the parliament agreed to establish a joint committee responsible for reforming CBI legislation. Its members are expected to quickly finalize a long-awaited plan to update the laws governing central bank activities.

President Salehabadi also stated that a special working group will be established to clarify the positions of banks and governments on cryptocurrencies. Although Tehran’s administration has been cracking down on crypto investment and transactions, allowing only banks and licensed money changers to use Iranian minted currency to pay for imported goods, lawmakers opposed these restrictive policies. They believe that more friendly supervision will help Iran circumvent US-led sanctions and promote its economic development.

Post time: Oct-27-2021