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EghtesadOnline: A draft of rules for holding and trading cryptocurrencies has been finalized and should be approved by the government, says the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iran for Innovative technologies.

"The government's digital economy workgroup is involved and the vice presidency for economic affairs is responsible for regulating crypto trade. Several ministries as well as the CBI are members of the workgroup," Mehran Moharramian was quoted as saying by IBENA. 

"We at the central bank believe that it is better to control the hype surrounding the [crypto] issue as it can and will affect the country's monetary authority," Moharramian said. 

"We must benefit from blockchain technology. Apparently this cannot be possible if we impose a ban on it."

In 2019 the former government recognized cryptomining as a legal industry. Miners had to apply for a permit from the Ministry of Industries. However, trade in crypto is still banned even though recently the CBI said banks and licensed moneychangers may use the e-currency mined by authorized miners in Iran to pay for imports.

Last March and following stringent anti-money laundering measures, the CBI ordered Shaparak, the local payment settlement network, to block online payment gateways owned by crypto exchange websites.

In May 60,000 people involved in the crypto business signed a petition asking former president Hassan Rouhani to stop blocking crypto exchanges. Soon after media outlets published a letter from his office in which the CBI was asked not to block cryptocurrency exchanges. 

Growing interest in mining and trading cryptocurrencies in Iran has prompted authorities to craft a roadmap for crypto business in its entirety. 

However, the issue, experts say, is deeper and more complex than previous regulatory challenges. The obvious result has been that no state organization wants a role in this sector or accept responsibility. 

To address the challenges, the Raisi administration has proposed to regulate digital assets and cryptocurrencies and called on private enterprises to send their views and suggestions.

The intention is to create a centralized platform for monitoring and supervising the crypto market along with the IDs of users. 

Establishment of a new company affiliated to the Ministry of Economy is in the cards to develop crypto infrastructure. The company, Mehr, will develop the monitoring platform and create a hub to link crypto exchanges to the supervisory system.

However, experts say the platform goes against the inherent anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies. Others are concerned about the security of the platform because leaks in user data would be harmful.


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