Iran plans use of cryptocurrency to ease sanctions

Published September 17, 2021
Representations of the virtual currency Bitcoin stand on a motherboard in this picture illustration taken May 20. — Reuters
Representations of the virtual currency Bitcoin stand on a motherboard in this picture illustration taken May 20. — Reuters

TEHRAN: An Iranian official has suggested that cryptocurrencies could be used to overcome problems related to international sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.

“We cannot remain indifferent to the phenomenon” of cryptocurrencies, Gholamreza Marhaba, spokesman of the economic commission at Iran’s parliament, said.

“The transfer of money through cryptocurrencies could be a means to circumvent sanctions and ease their effects” on the economy, he said according to the official ISNA news agency.

He was speaking as parliament discussed a report outlining the size of the cryptocurrency market in Iran and how best to use the technology. Around 700 bitcoins are traded daily in Iran, according to the report.

Likewise, the report said, 19,500 bitcoins are mined annually in Iran, compared with 324,000 around the world. “Good management of cryptocurrencies could created opportunities for (Iran’s) economy,” Marhaba said.

Iran was among the first countries in the world to legalise the mining of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies in September 2018.

But in May, then president Hassan Rouhani announced a four-month ban on all cryptocurrency mining after nationwide power cuts.

Profitably creating, or mining, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies requires masses of computers dedicated to solving deliberately complicated equations — an endeavour that globally consumes more electricity than entire nations.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2021

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Budgeting without people

Budgeting without people

Even though the economy is a critical issue, discussions about it involve a select few who are not really interested in communicating with the people.

Editorial

Iranian tragedy
Updated 21 May, 2024

Iranian tragedy

Due to Iran’s regional and geopolitical influence, the world will be watching the power transition carefully.
Circular debt woes
21 May, 2024

Circular debt woes

THE alleged corruption and ineptitude of the country’s power bureaucracy is proving very costly. New official data...
Reproductive health
21 May, 2024

Reproductive health

IT is naïve to imagine that reproductive healthcare counts in Pakistan, where women from low-income groups and ...
Wheat price crash
Updated 20 May, 2024

Wheat price crash

What the government has done to Punjab’s smallholder wheat growers by staying out of the market amid crashing prices is deplorable.
Afghan corruption
20 May, 2024

Afghan corruption

AMONGST the reasons that the Afghan Taliban marched into Kabul in August 2021 without any resistance to speak of ...
Volleyball triumph
20 May, 2024

Volleyball triumph

IN the last week, while Pakistan’s cricket team savoured a come-from-behind T20 series victory against Ireland,...