04-13-2022 icon

Iran ignores cryptocurrency payments, set to launch crypto rial

By Lucy Adegbe

The Islamic Republic of Iran has walked away from cryptocurrencies and would no longer regard Bitcoin as a legal currency. Iran has always had a confusing stance about cryptocurrencies even as it has always faced sanctions from the West.

Reza Bagheri, the country’s deputy Minister of Communications, who discussed crypto regulatory concerns including storage and trade, said Bitcoin is not considered a legal tender. “We do not recognize payments with crypto,” he said.

He added that the use of foreign currencies was against Iran’s monetary and banking laws. 

“So, we will by no means have any regulations recognizing payments with cryptocurrencies that do not belong to us; Iran has its national cryptocurrency, so no payments will be made with non-national cryptocurrencies,” he elaborated.

He said this will protect Iranian citizens and crypto exchanges within the country will have to comply with regulatory standards.

Meanwhile, the country’s Central Bank has informed banks and financial institutions about the rules of its proposed central bank digital currency – crypto rial, which will replace crypto assets in the country.

The rules will cover the production and issuance of digital currencies, and the central bank will mint the crypto rial and also determine the maximum amount to be pumped into circulation.