EghtesadOnline: Key entities in Iran's government are preparing to officially endorse the import of hardware required to mine cryptocurrency in complementary efforts aimed at backing crypto mining to help an economy under heavy pressure.
"Necessary coordination has been done with related entities to allow the flow of hardware needed to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies," Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the secretary of High Council of Cyberspace, was quoted as saying by IBENA.
On Sept. 4, Firouzabadi had announced that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has accepted crpytocurrency mining as an industry that needs to be developed in Iran. He said HCC intends to establish a platform to legalize crypto mining, adding that the establishment of a certified online exchange is also being considered.
On the back of this news, the price of Bitcoin on some local exchanges such as Exir rose over $24,000–exceeding the global average all-time high of $20,000 seen in December– while prices elsewhere were around $7,000, Coindesk.com reported on Sept. 6, according to Financial Tribune.
On Sept. 12, Mehdi Mirmehdi Komijani, the head of Tehran's Information Technology Union, pointed out that the sale of most cryptocurrency mining hardware is legal because all such hardware and devices are also used in other sectors and currently imported by a number of computer and technical hardware companies legally.
“The sale of this type of hardware will by no means become illegal,” he added.
On Sunday, Firouzabadi, who was addressing a meeting of the central council of Tehran's ICT Guild Organization, also said developments in the ICT sector are very fast and Iran needs to be receptive of potential changes. He said the country needs to embrace new technologies, including cryptocurrency mining, to get ahead under increasingly harsh conditions created by the reimposition of US sanctions.
Iranian officials were previously pessimistic about cryptocurrencies and have on many occasions warned the general public of the risks involved. In fact, cryptocurrencies are currently under a blanket ban that prohibits their use in the country's financial institutions following a mandate by the High Council of Anti-Money Laundering, which was implemented by the Central Bank of Iran in April.
However, economic hardship has prompted officials, including the president himself, to seriously consider and pursue tapping into blockchain and cryptocurrency potentials. That's while the country's monetary regulator is expected to divulge its new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies as early as next week and legalize them.