News Regulation

Central Bank of Iran is expected to lift its current ban on cryptocurrencies

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is likely to lift its current ban on cryptocurrencies and set up a framework to regulate them by late September.

According to Nasser Hakimi, CBI’s deputy for innovative technologies, the new rules will cover several aspects. Speaking at a blockchain and crypto conference held in Tehran over the weekend, he said:

“The first concerns the prevalent global cryptocurrencies. The High Council of Anti-Money Laundering has imposed a ban in light of concerns over global allegations of money laundering and financing of terrorism. But it seems that after the government’s consideration, this blanket ban will be reviewed.”

In April, the CBI prohibited cryptocurrency trading in a move seeking to combat money laundering. The decision also reflected the need to curb the potential use of digital coins to support terrorist activity and address other issues stemming from the lack of a regulatory framework. However, the ban had only a temporary effect as cryptocurrency exchanges soon resumed operations, so setting up rules for digital assets appears to have come back.

The announcement of the upcoming crypto regulation comes as the country goes through the final stage of developing its national virtual currency. In July, Iran disclosed its intentions to tokenize the rial in a bid to circumvent US-led sanctions imposed on its economic system.