After keeping the global cryptocurrency community in suspense for almost a year, Iran finally announced that it was all set to launch its own cryptocurrency. A report by news portal Al Jazeera, said that the official announcement would take place at the annual two-day Electronic Banking and Payment Systems conference, which kicks off on January 29 in the capital, Tehran. The theme of this year’s gathering is “blockchain revolution”.
While the news IS the big reveal, it has not surprised anyone. The rumours surrounding this development had become more pronounced ever since President of the United States, Donald Trump had announced imposition of sanction on the country.
Since November, Iran had been contemplating towards using cryptocurrencies to circumvent the sanctions imposed by the United States and also delisted the country’s central bank from Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network.
Earlier, in 2018, Iran had hinted that it might be switching to cryptocurrencies, in a way to bypass the US sanctions. In July, Iran’s bitcoin trading volumes skyrocketed after the US passed the sanctions. As earlier reported by Crypto-News India, in the black market, the rate went further higher and was trading on an average of 100,000 Rials for a USD. With economic collapse gaining momentum and fears of Rials losing value, locals have started putting their money in gold coins and virtual currencies in order to circumvent the large effect of the economic sanctions.
In December, Iranian students, after being denied banking services, began using cryptocurrencies to pay for their education. As earlier reported by Crypto-News India, due to the denial of banking services, many students have not been able to pay their tuition fees. As an alternative, they were asked to go to Iran and pay the tuition fees or else face expulsion. A news portal, Altcoin Era quoted an associate professor, Mai Sato, as saying that the prices of air tickets may also go up. Sato said, “Even if the funds for the flight and fees can be raised, requiring a student to transport large amounts of cash within and from a country classified by the foreign office as a high-risk country, exposes the university to justifiable criticism.”
Iran also reported that a nationalized version of SWIFT may be launched soon.
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