Iran allows local firms to pay for imports with ‘officially mined digital currency’

Iranian companies can now pay for imports via digital currencies, but only if it’s mined in the country and by authorized miners. In its latest announcement, the Central Bank of Iran revealed a new regulatory framework that allows forex companies and banks to pay for such import as electronics and raw materials.

Iran’s digital currency industry has had a checkered history. The Middle Eastern country has in the past sought to encourage digital currency block reward mining by allowing power plants to engage in the activity. However, the government has turned around on the industry and blamed it for the power disruptions that affect the country. In the past year, Iran has shut down over 1,600 block reward mining operations that it claimed were operating illegally. As CoinGeek reported then, for most of them, their crime was using the subsidized electricity that Iran allocates to households.

Now, the government wants to encourage digital currency payments. As per a report by local paper Financial Tribune, the only condition is that the digital currencies must be derived from authorized block reward miners. Iran first started authorizing miners in mid-2019, with the Ministry of Industry and Mining overseeing the sector.

The Iranian government has been working towards enabling digital currency payments since October last year. As CoinGeek reported, the central bank and the Ministry of Energy amended a law that made it legal to fund imports with digital currencies. However, the bank would strictly monitor the digital currency payments at all times.

The official report from the bank stated, “The miners are supposed to supply the original cryptocurrency directly and within the authorized limit to the channels introduced by the CBI.”

While Iran promotes digital currency payments, it has been cracking down on digital currency trading. Two months ago, the head of the country’s Digital Economy Commission called for the government to ban the use of the rial to purchase digital currencies. He claimed that digital currencies have encouraged fraud and several scams. The central bank governor has also in the past indicated that the regulator will whitelist a few exchanges that block reward miners will be able to use to sell their digital currencies.

See also: TAAL’s Jerry Chan presentation at CoinGeek Live, The Shift from Bitcoin “Miners” to “Transaction Processors”

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