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

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

Opinion

Editorial

Breaking the deadlock
09 Dec, 2022

Breaking the deadlock

It is time for PDM and PTI to show flexibility and realise that the future of over 240m people is at stake.
A targeted killing
09 Dec, 2022

A targeted killing

IF there were any doubts about a sinister, transnational plot to kill journalist Arshad Sharif, the 592-page report...
Dog-bite epidemic
09 Dec, 2022

Dog-bite epidemic

AN exploding population of stray canines has fuelled a dog-bite epidemic in Sindh, with the provincial health...
Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...