Iran has approved the use of cryptocurrency for trading and importing goods, according to Industry Mines and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi Amin. The approval serves as a measure to circumvent US sanctions imposed on its finance and banking sector.
According to Amin, the regulations for using cryptocurrencies instead of dollar and euro were finalized by the administration on Sunday. “All the issues related to crypto-assets, including how to provide fuel and energy, and how to assign and grant licenses were devised,” he added.
Earlier in the month, Iran made its first official import cryptocurrency order, worth $10 million. It served as a test run for allowing the country to trade through digital assets that bypass the global financial system. It also served to trade with other countries similarly embargoed by US sanctions.
“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries,” says Alireza Peymanpak, a deputy Iranian trade minister who leads Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO).
Iran’s History with Cryptocurrency
Iran’s time with cryptocurrency has been complex. In 2019, Iran’s central bank banned trading of cryptocurrencies inside the country. However, the government still allowed the use of crypto, such as bitcoin, to pay for imports.
Additionally, Iran police have confiscated over 9,000 illegal crypto-mining rigs since March 21, 2022, according to reports. Crypto-mining is the cause of multiple power outages in the country. The illegal mining caused associations in Iran to call for more regulations on cryptocurrency as a whole.
On the other hand, the approval allows Iran to circumvent the US sanctions that have hurt the Iranian economy. The sanctions have weakened the national currency, hence why cryptocurrencies have become so popular in the country.
“It is necessary to train people for using this new technology in the country and have stable laws in this regard,” says Alireza Managhebi, the head of Iran’s Importers Group and Representatives of Foreign Companies.