EghtesadOnline: Aboard member of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines has urged the government to make an informed evaluation of the views and recommendations of professionals and experts and come up with a clear and supportive roadmap for cryptocurrencies.
Speaking to ISNA, Shahab Javanmardi criticized President Hassan Rouhani's government for imposing restrictions on cryptocurrency trade and denied claims that the government has been supporting the crypto industry that has seen more than its share of controversy.
"Contrary to the claims, the Central Bank of Iran has directly intervened [restricted] in the crypto market. Such measures will continue to prevent the growth of the crypto sector in Iran if the incoming government does likewise," he said.
A clear stance on cryptocurrencies compatible with market reality is crucial especially "given the restrictions on the economy and the challenges we face in using foreign currency."
Javanmardi said in recent months experts had conducted a study on the crypto sector that can be useful for the government of President-elect Raisi in charting the future course of crypto business.
Ebrahim Raisi, a former judiciary chief, won the June 18 presidential election and is set for inauguration on August 3.
Mining virtual currency is legal in Iran and miners are allowed to operate under rules approved by the government in July 2019.
However, trade in crypto is banned even though recently the central bank said banks and licensed moneychangers can use the digital currency mined by authorized miners in the country to pay for imports.
Back in March, in line with the government’s anti-money laundering measures the CBI ordered Shaparak, the local payment settlement network, to block online payment gateways owned by crypto exchange websites.
Media outlets published a letter in May signed by Mahmoud Vaezi, President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff, in which the CBI was asked to stop blocking cryptocurrency exchanges. The call was in response to a petition signed by 60,000 plus people involved in the crypto business.
In recent months Iranians in increasing numbers have been putting money in bitcoins and other digital currencies as parallel markets, such as forex, gold, and shares, lose luster.
A recent study conducted by the TCCIM shows an estimated 12 million Iranians have invested in cryptocurrencies. This has prompted authorities to craft a roadmap for crypto business as a whole.
The issue of cryptocurrencies, however, is more complicated than previous regulatory challenges and no state body wants responsibility in this sector whose future is unclear, to say the least.