Iran close to launching state-backed cryptocurrency

27 Jan, 2019
by Richard Allen
News
Iran close to launching state-backed cryptocurrency

According to Al Jazeera, Iran is inching its way to the launch of a rial-backed stablecoin as a means to counteract the effects of US sanctions.

The virtual currency is expected to be announced during the Electronic Banking and Payment Systems conference beginning on January 29 in Tehran. This year’s theme is “blockchain revolution.”

“Iran’s cryptocurrency is expected to be rolled out in phases, first as a rial-backed digital token, to facilitate payments between Iranian banks and other Iranian institutions active in the crypto space, and later possibly as an instrument for the Iranian public to pay for local goods and services,” Al Jazeera reports.

The currency is reportedly going to run on a private blockchain, but if it will be based on Ethereum, Hyperledger or something else remains unknown.

Iran’s economy took a blow in November when some banks were prohibited from SWIFT, a Belgian-based global messaging system that facilitates global payments. It’s hoped that the state-backed cryptocurrency could lay the groundwork for Iran to join a blockchain-based international payments system that may one day work as an alternative to SWIFT.

Read more: The US is trying to stop Iran from making its own cryptocurrency; Iran officials warn citizens against making use of Telegram and its token

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