The head of Iran’s monetary authority recently reminded citizens as well as businesses that it is illegal in Iran to sell or buy cryptocurrency. However, the governor said that mining cryptocurrency and using it in import payments is legal in Iran.
According to Ali Salehabadi ( CBI), the Central Bank of Iran’s governor, it is illegal to buy or sell cryptocurrencies, nor can you use them for investment purposes. The official also pointed out that authorized entities and persons can legal mine crypto for international settlements.
The CBI chief referred to regulations that were adopted by the bank and other government agencies such as the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade 2 years ago. He said that it was legal for Iranian companies and individuals to use cryptocurrency to pay for imports. The English-language edition (ILNA) of the Iranian Labour News Agency (CBI) quoted him on Friday.
Salehabadi made these comments after Alireza Peymanpak , the Deputy Minister of Trade, announced Iran’s first order for import using cryptocurrency as a payment option. The nation’s Trade Promotion Organization leader also revealed that $10 million of goods were purchased by the Islamic Republic using digital coins.
The Iranian authorities refuse to accept crypto payments within Iran. This was stated earlier in the year by Reza Bagheri, the Deputy Minister for Communications. Crypto trading and investing are also not permitted. The government has cracked down upon local exchanges and allowed only licensed moneychangers and banks to use digital currency from Iran to pay imports.
Numerous companies have been granted licenses to mint digital currencies such as bitcoin since 2019, when Tehran authorities recognized mining as an industrial activity. However, the country’s growing electricity shortages and blackouts are being blamed on the country’s energy-intensive production. This is especially true during hot summers when there is a high demand for cooling and in the winter when heating needs rise.
Accordingly, registered crypto farms were instructed to close power-hungry equipment more than once in the last two years, while Tavanir, Iran Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Company, pursued illegal miners busting many underground crypto farms.
These illegal facilities often use subsidized electricity from residential areas. The utility promised tough measures against this type of illegal mining last month. ILNA quotes Iranian officials as saying that a single Bitcoin mining machine uses as much energy as 24 homes.
Governor Salehabadi spoke out about the CBI’s plans to create a “cryptorial,” or a central bank digital currency that is issued by the Iranian financial authority. This currency will partially replace paper cash. The central bank informed banks about the forthcoming regulations regarding the issuance digital rials. This indicated that it is preparing to pilot CBDC.