Central Bank of Iran bans Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country

23 April 2018

A regulatory guideline, adopted in December 2017 by anti-money laundering agency of Iran, has been published last week saying that financial institutions in the country are prohibited from dealing with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets.

Central Bank of Iran (CBI) sent the circular on Sunday clarifying its position on the cryptocurrency use. The central bank was clear about the risks associated with the cryptocurrency trading, underlining that the cryptocurrencies may be used for money laundering and financing terrorist activity. Insisting on these arguments, the central bank prohibited the use of Bitcoin and other digital coins by financial organizations.

CBI emphasized: “Virtual currencies have the option to be used for money laundering, supporting terrorism, and exchange of sums between wrongdoers.”

The circular dissuades commercial banks, financial entities and exchanges from using or trading cryptocurrencies and from making any efforts for promoting the digital assets.

Meantime, comments made last November by the secretary of the Iran’s cyberspace body suggest that there is no one-to-one relation adopted by the national authorities, as the secretary said that the country welcomes Bitcoin subject to proper regulatory framework.

Naser Hakimi, Director General, Information Technology, CBI, noted also in November that the bank is holding a research, exploring the properties of Bitcoin with the plans of conducting a thorough examination of its policies in this field.

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