EghtesadOnline: Although some called for allowing moneychangers to deal in virtual currencies, especially the ubiquitous Bitcoin, all Iranian bureaux de changes are currently prohibited from engaging in deals involving cryptocurrencies.
"Foreign exchange transactions are not handled electronically and online in any Iranian exchange shops, because the related directive passed by the Money and Credit Council does not give them such a permit," Saeid Mojtahedi, the head of the Iranian Association of Moneychangers, told Fars News website.
The Central Bank of Iran has not prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies by law and only sought to warn people of the potential risks inherent in them, as the regulator has yet to announce its official stance.
However, as the official said, the previous directive for moneychangers has deemed non-physical and virtual transactions against the law, meaning that Iranian bureaux de changes must not deal in cryptocurrencies, Financial Tribune reported.
Mojtahedi said emerging phenomena such as Bitcoin must be met with regulatory frameworks that would create the opportunity of their use because a lack of regulations will eventually lead to fraud.
Seyyed Hassan Hosseini Shahroudi, first secretary of Majlis Economic Commission, has called on the Central Bank of Iran and other related entities to present a report to the parliamentary commission and make their stance clear as soon as possible.
"It is their duty to conduct expert analysis on this because Bitcoin is gaining popularitye in the country and no thorough research has been done on its pros and cons," he said.
His comments come after the head of MEC announced last week that the parliamentary commission is to hold a top-level multilateral meeting with representatives from the central bank, the Ministry of Economy and the Securities and Exchange Organization on Bitcoin soon.
Bitcoin's rapid descent gathered pace on Friday, as the cryptocurrency crashed below $11,000. Its price has fallen more than 40% from its record high of nearly $20,000 set at the start of the week.
The price of digital currency fell as low as $10,891 on Friday afternoon, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index.
It has been a volatile month for the cryptocurrency that has surged in value from under $1,000 at the start of the year.