The governor of the Central Bank of Iran said on Sunday that the national cryptocurrency will enter the pilot stage in the near future, without providing further details.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his first meeting with lawmakers, Ali Salehabadi added that central bankers are currently studying the risks and benefits involved.
“The pilot trial will begin once the Money and Credit Council approves it,” IRIB News said.
The national cryptocurrency was not the only topic discussed by the governor and IWC lawmakers at Sunday’s meeting.
They also agreed to form a joint commission to finalize the country’s long-awaited law reform plan, as soon as possible.
The senior banker did not delve into the “national cryptocurrency” as it could be in line with previous plans for the development of a national cryptocurrency.
In 2018, Informatics Services Corporation, the executive arm of the Central Bank of Iran in charge of operating the country’s network of banking automation and payment services, was tasked with developing a national cryptocurrency. Company officials later said the Iranian cryptocurrency was designed using the Hyperledger Fabric platform.
It is a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger Company projects hosted by Linux Foundation.
The national cryptocurrency was developed in a private blockchain, meaning that it cannot be exploited by the general public unlike popular cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin which have been developed in public blockchains.
However, the project has not had major updates. Instead, central bankers recently announced that a plan was being developed for the issuance of a “crypto-rial” as the central bank’s digital currency.
IWC officials have said that cryptocurrency is a digital form of money that will be distributed by the central bank and not a cryptocurrency that could be used for small cashless transactions.
The Iranian Parliament’s research group has repeatedly called on a number of decision-making bodies, including the central bank, to join forces and harness the potential of digital money and blockchain technologies to draw up regulations to help circumvent US sanctions and boost the economy.
According to Salehabadi, a working group should be formed to clarify the views of the central bank and the government regarding cryptocurrencies.
Virtual currency mining is legal in Iran and miners can operate according to government-approved rules in July 2019. However, cryptocurrency trading is banned although the central bank recently said that banks and authorized license changers can use digital currency extracted by authorized miners in Iran to pay for imports.
The growing interest of Iranians in mining and cryptocurrency trading has motivated the authorities to draw up a roadmap for the cryptocurrency business. However, the issue of cryptocurrencies, according to experts, is more complicated than previous regulatory challenges. As a result, no state agency wants to get involved for fear of likely problems.