It seems that The Islamic Republic of Iran has changed their view on cryptocurrency. In a tweet that was posted on Wednesday, an Iranian official Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi said that a test model for a “cloud-based digital currency” is being developed for submission to the Iranian banking system. This announcement came after a meeting with the central bank’s board of directors after which Azari said the meeting covered “digital currencies based on the blockchain… to implement the country’s first cloud-based digital currency using the capacity of the country’s elite”.
The announcement came right after Venezuela announced that they are having their oil-backed “petro” cryptocurrency launch earlier this week. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claims that the cryptocurrency has raised over $700 million for the cash-strapped country.
Neither Iran, neither Venezuela aren’t lonely cases of a central bank trying to create a national digital cryptocurrency. Singapore, China and even the UK have in one way or the other thought of making similar moves.
Two weeks ago, Iran government reported that they were considering issuing “a local cryptocurrency, a cryptocurrency consortium with specific countries and regulating the already established cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.”
Bear in mind that in Iran a lot of paying possibilities are just not allowed. Paypal, Mastercard, Visa are all forbidden. Their currency keeps falling against dollar and cryptocurrency may be the way out of these conditions.
While details remain still unsure at this stage, if true, the central bank’s tone contrasts sharply with reports last November surrounding an open reception of crypto in Iran.
At that time, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, secretary of the Iran’s cyberspace authority, was quoted as saying that the country would “welcome” bitcoin if it were regulated.