Iran to Pilot ‘National Cryptocurrency,’ Considers Blockchain Tech for Stock Market

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The monetary authority of Iran intends to pilot its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the near future, a high-ranking representative of the financial regulator said, quoted by the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA). The news comes in the fourth year since the initial announcement of the project.

According to a statement by Mehran Moharamian, deputy governor for IT at the Central Bank of Iran, the CBI sees digital currencies as a solution for resolving certain inconsistencies and decentralizing resources. Other countries have already begun to benefit from CBDCs, he noted.

Moharamian did not provide specific details about the start of the pilot phase. Authorities in Tehran tasked the country’s Informatics Services Corporation with developing a “national cryptocurrency” in 2018. The CBI arm is operating the country’s banking automation and payment services network.

Later, the company explained that the Iranian digital currency has been designed using the Hyperledger Fabric platform, a blockchain framework implementation and one of Hyperledger’s projects hosted by the Linux Foundation.

Blockchain Expected to Revive Iranian Stock Market

Although the Iranian crypto space remains largely unregulated — aside from mining — another report this week indicated that officials have been looking for various ways to employ the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Iran’s capital market should genuinely consider using blockchain technology as it can help address some major needs of the share market and create new opportunities for its revival, Majid Eshqi, head of the Iranian Securities and Exchange Organization recently commented. Quoted by SENA and the English-language business daily Financial Tribune, he elaborated:

At the latest, in two years we will be compelled to make use of blockchain technology… It will not be long before we start tokenizing physical assets and stocks that can be easily traded on the new platforms.

He added that the time has come to consider the potential of blockchain technologies to solve some existing issues, such as identity verification of shareholders, for example, and start the infrastructure process.

Earlier in January, Iranian media revealed that Tehran is going to allow local companies to use cryptocurrencies in international settlements with their partners abroad. The Central bank and the government of the sanctioned country have reportedly given the green light to the adoption of a mechanism facilitating payments with digital coins in the field of foreign trade.

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