Iran bans banks from using cryptocurrencies

Iran banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by banks and financial institutions on 23 April 2018 amid ongoing debate over how best to regulate the technology. The use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in all the country’s monetary and financial centres was banned,” the central bank said in a statement overnight.

The ban came because “all cryptocurrencies have the capacity to be turned into a means for money-laundering and financing terrorism and in general can be turned into a means for transferring criminals’ money. Many in Iran see great potential in digital currencies as a way to overcome problems related to international sanctions and difficulties facing the country’s ailing banks.This ruling referred directly to banks, financial institutions and currency exchangers that work with the central bank.

Earlier this year, the country’s 36-year-old telecoms minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi set up a team to create Iran’s own cryptocurrency. But there are also fears that the technology could undermine the country’s already weak banking system and exacerbate capital flight. Iranians working in the fledgling private cryptocurrency market said the ban was unlikely to affect their operations.

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