Central Bank of Iran considers ban on crypto payments

Posted 29 January, 2019

The Central Bank of Iran is going to ban "unapproved" cryptocurrencies, prohibiting to use them for payments within the country.

The bank released the draft document, where it revealed its plans to ban bitcoin and cryptos backed by fiats, precious metals, and other goods. At the same time, as the source in the know noted, the bank does not consider restrictions for the people in terms of holding or transferring small amounts of digital coins that were approved.

In addition, the Central Bank will no longer allow integrating crypto wallets into any crypto services, which means that the wallets can be used only for storage and remittances of the funds. However, this is not the end for the restrictions. The source also added that the CBI would suggest setting limits for crypto holdings like it was made for the fiats. For reference, the bank stated that Iranian citizens can hold up to EUR 10,000 out of their regulated bank accounts.

The list of cryptocurrencies to receive approval will be defined in the near future, while the crypto exchanges will have to obtain a license to remain in the business. Notably, a source commented that the platforms might face challenges with the licensing process in Iran.

The measures are designed to protect the Iranian rial from competition with digital assets. It seems that the government finally recognized bitcoin as an asset. Although the market participants were somewhat bemused by the developments, they believe that it is not a complete ban, since people can still hold and transfer small amounts of crypto for non-commercial purposes.

As it was reported earlier, Tehran is expected to launch the national rial-backed coin at the Electronic Banking and Payment Systems conference to be held this week.

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30 January, 2019 11:17

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