Iran has officially approved cryptocurrency to be used as means of paying for imports.
Iranian trade minister revealed on Monday that regulations and logistics have been finalized to facilitate the use of crypto in Iran ’s international trade. The move comes nearly 3 weeks after it officially announced to have completed $10 million worth of imports paid in crypto.
Iran Approves Cryptocurrencies for Global Trade
Iran’s Trade Minister Reza Fatemi Amin said the country, which has been facing US sanctions since 1979, on finalized regulations to use cryptocurrencies for imports. The Iranian minister further revealed that all underlying issues and logistics, such as assigning and granting licenses and providing fuel and energy for mining activities, have been finalized.
“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widespread in foreign trade with target countries,” said Alireza Peymanpak, Iran’s Deputy Minister for Industry, Mining and Trade.
On August 9, Peymanpak, who is also chairman of the Iran Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), announced that the country had completed imports worth $10 million using cryptocurrencies “this week.” He also mentioned that digital assets and smart contracts will be used more widely.
“This week, the first official import order registration worth 10 million dollars was successfully completed using cryptocurrency,” he had said.
The preparation to use cryptocurrencies for paying import bills began last year when Iran’s central bank allowed domestic banks, currency exchanges, and licensed miners to process import bills through cryptocurrencies. As of now, licensed miners who operate in Iran account for about 4.5% of the total hashrate. It is among the top 5 countries in this regard and earns revenue in crypto for license fees and premium on the power supply. Back in January, the country also revealed that it’s planning to bring in a central bank digital currency without providing a precise timeline as to when it will be launched. Top CBI officials said that cryptocurrencies are a solution to “end growing financial instability across the world.”
Impact on Illegal Mining
In 2019, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) banned the trading of cryptocurrencies. The move was intended to curb mushrooming of mining activities that impacted the supply of electricity in the country. Over the last year, Iran has launched several crackdowns against illegal miners, punishing them with penalties, confiscation of machinery, and even jail terms.
The mining activities in the country were also shut down during the summer and the winter when demand for electricity skyrocketed. These moves, however, seem to be part of the country’s overall efforts to regulate the mining industry in a bid to earn revenue.