Iran closer to own digital money as sanctions loom

Press TV – Iran says it is preparing to develop its own digital currency as a solution which officials in Tehran say would help the country dodge the returning US sanctions.

A plan to create an indigenous cryptocurrency was already on the agenda of the Directorate for Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Presidential Office, Iran’s media reported.

The announcement was made by Alireza Daliri, the Directorate’s deputy for management and investment affairs.

Daliri was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying that a large number of domestic knowledge-based companies had the expertise to develop digital currency. However, he emphasized, they would still have to work on removing pre-launch flaws.

The official added that the companies were working over the project in cooperation with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

“We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country,” Daliri told ISNA.

“This currency would facilitate the transfer of money (to and from) anywhere in the world. Besides, it can help us at the time of sanctions.”

In May, US President Donald Trump announced that he would pull America out of a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and re-impose the sanctions that the deal had envisaged to be lifted.

He has already emphasized that the sanctions which would be imposed on Iran would be “at the highest level”.

The sanctions would include a universal ban on Iran over buying or acquiring US dollars which will come into force in August as well as restrictions over purchases of crude oil from the country and investing in its oil sector projects which will become effective by the start of November.

In related news, Iran’s media announced on Wednesday that the country had been able to develop its first national encrypted key based on the blockchain technology.

Based on a report by IRNA, the key would be introduced into Iran’s banking system within the next three months after the potential shortcoming would be removed. It could be accordingly used to support Iran’s national currency and then used as a ‘token’ for settling financial transactions by commercial banks.

The banks would be able to develop smart contracts based on the properties of the same indigenous token and expand their required payment services including digital wallets.