The latest report unveils Iran’s upcoming move of launching state-backed cryptocurrency this week. The move is intending to skirt US sanctions and SWIFT payment system.
Avoiding US Sanctions – Momentarily
As per the sources, Iran may introduce its national cryptocurrency at a ‘blockchain-based conference called ‘E-Banking and Payment System’. The conference is held for two days – i.e Jan 29 and Jan 30, 2019, in Tehran. Iran’s so-called ‘state-backed cryptocurrency’ is said to be a ‘stablecoin’ because, the new crypto will be backed by ‘Iran’s national currency, rial’. In fact, this kind of cryptocurrency is called ‘ Central Bank-issued Digital Currency (CBDC)’.
However, it was first announced in summer 2018 to avoid US sanction. Moreover, it is to tackle the issue arising from SWIFT blockage which is no longer assisting Iran’s bank for international money transfer to pay for imports. Therefore, Tehran could create an alternative to SWIFT by launching their own digital currency.
Although the large scale adoption of CBDC is still uncertain, it may certainly help throughout the local usage. Yashar Rashedi from Radfa Iranian firm discussed the possible move of Iran’s new cryptocurrency, he states;
“Even as [CBDCs] may never find widespread everyday use among the general public, they may be able to offer some new features to startups and developers that had to work with centralized bank APIs before them.”
Iranian version of SWIFT
However, it is interesting to note about Ripple, the rival of SWIFT for cross-border payment. While many banks across various countries are moving to ripple over SWIFT, Iran is combating the international payment issue with their own crypto. In a similar context, sources claimed the statement of Yuri Pripachkin, the head of the Russian Association of Crypto-Industry and Blockchain, who says;
“According to our information, active development of an Iranian version of SWIFT is currently underway,”
On one hand, many countries have a blurry decision on cryptocurrency adoption, on the other hand, Iran is quite optimistic since long. Some of Iran’s crypto enthusiasts believe that support from country’s government for CBDC will create ‘a favorable environment’ on the ground of crypto industry within the country. Amir Habibzadeh, Tehranian millennial blockchain entrepreneur told Al Jazeera;
“It will create the possibility of tokenizing things and may increasingly bring the general public into the fold in terms of online exchange of money, something that will end up to the benefit of entrepreneurs,”
What do you think about the Iranian version of SWIFT? Do you think it helps Iran combat US sanctions? Share your thoughts with us