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Iran’s ICT Minister Hints At Forthcoming Cryptocurrency Pilot




The Iranian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) minister recently revealed that a bank in the country has been developing a cryptocurrency. That same day, local media reported that the central bank is pledging a virtual currency clampdown.

In a February 21 tweet, Iranian ICT Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi announced that the Post Bank of Iran has been working on a cryptocurrency that will be brought before the nation's "banking system" for review and possible testing. An article in the Iranian press suggests that the ICT Ministry itself would carry out any trials.

It's unclear whether the locally developed digital asset will eventually be made available to the public, and whether it will be issued by Post Bank (51 percent of which is owned by the government), by an arm of the government itself, or by some other entity.

Azari Jahromi's tweet, translated into English, reads,

"In a meeting with the board of directors of the post-bank on digital currency-based blocking chains, the bank set out the necessary measures to test the country's first digital currency using the country's elite capacity. A pilot model for review and approval will be presented to the banking system of the country."

Later that day, the Iran Front Post reported that the country's central bank had issued a statement relating that it does not recognize the legitimacy of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies within Iran's borders.

"The wild fluctuations of the digital currencies along with competitive business activities underway via network marketing and pyramid scheme have made the market of these currencies highly unreliable and risky," the statement said.

The central bank also warned the public against investing in virtual currencies and announced that it was working with other institutions to clamp down on some crypto-related activities. 

Translations provided by Google Translate.

Adam Reese

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam holds value in Ether, Bitcoin, and Monero.

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