EghtesadOnline: Months after the idea was first publicized, it seems that Iran is now inching closer to tapping into the potentials of blockchain technology to operate its own virtual currency.
On Wednesday, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, used his Twitter account to provide the latest news about Iran’s virtual currency.
“In the meeting I had with the board of directors of Post Bank about digital currencies based on blockchain, it was agreed that the bank would do what is necessary to do a trial run of the country’s first digital currency using the capacities of the nation’s elite,” he wrote.
According to Azari-Jahromi, the experimental model will soon be presented to the banking system for evaluation and confirmation, Financial Tribune reported.
The notion of Iran floating its own virtual currency was first brought to the attention of the media and the people in mid-October when Nasser Hakimi, the Central Bank of Iran’s deputy for innovative technologies, said the idea has been pitched and is undergoing evaluation.
It was around the time Bitcoin was beginning its meteoric rise to a peak of $20,000, which naturally prompted a heated discussion in Iran about virtual currencies.
The idea of Iran tapping into the potentials of blockchain technology to develop its own virtual currency again came to the fore in mid-November and once more involved Hakimi.
The CBI official held a press conference to outline the regulator’s plans regarding fintechs and cryptocurrencies. He said a total of six documents containing regulatory frameworks are to be published by CBI by the end of the next fiscal year in March 2019.
The fifth document is about cryptocurrencies and will be unveiled by September 2018.
“Two categories are considered here: the first being the framework that should be adhered to for using cryptocurrencies. The second category deals with the possibility of a national virtual currency, either to be created by the central bank or another entity, and what its potential form be like,” Hakimi said.
Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have had many ups and downs since then, prompting officials to urge caution at best, but forming a national virtual currency seems to have stayed on the agenda.