Despite Crypto Ban Iran Is Moving Ahead With Local Cryptocurrency Development

Iran is still moving ahead with plans to develop an experimental local coin, according to a government minister, despite last weeks ban on the cryptocurrency market by central banking authorities.

Citing fears of associated money laundering Just last week Iran’s central bank prohibited banks in the country from dealing in cryptocurrencies. In the related financial news, Iran moved this month to formally unify its open market exchange rates and banned money changing outside of banks.

These regulatory measures come as the Rial, the country’s national currency, has hit all-time lows amid concerns about a possible return of sanctions. By May 12 the U.S. President Donald Trump will decide whether to restore U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, which would be a severe blow to the 2015 pact between the country and six major powers, including the U.S.

Despite all this, Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi has said the government’s local cryptocurrency project will not be affected by the banks’ regulations:

“The central bank’s ban does not mean the prohibition or restriction of the use of the digital currency in domestic development,” state news agency IRNA quoted him as saying. “Last week, at a joint meeting to review the progress of the [local cryptocurrency] project, it was announced that the experimental model was ready,” Azari-Jahromi added.

This update comes after Iran’s youngest minister, Azari-Jahromi said in a tweet in February that his ministry’s Post Bank had been working with local experts on an experimental cryptocurrency model that now appears ready to be presented for review and possible approval.