With public adoption on the rise, international cryptocurrency regulations continue to develop. On Sept. 4, Iran legitimized cryptocurrency mining as an industry–propelling local Bitcoin prices to new, record highs.
Crypto Industry Gains Global Traction in Legitimization
The Iranian government has accepted cryptocurrency mining as an industry and is now developing a regulatory framework for the sector, reports Iranian news agency IBENA.
Following news of the formal approval, Bitcoin (BTC) rallied to a record high of 1,020,000,000 Iranian rials (~$24,000 USD) on local cryptocurrency exchange Exir. BTC traded at approximately $7,000 on major cryptocurrency exchanges during the same period on Wednesday.
Price of BTC is nearly at its all time high in Iranian local currency. Bitcoin bull markets already started in Iran as Rial price goes down against USD.#ExchangeIran #BitcoinIran #Iran #Bitcoin #IranEconomy pic.twitter.com/VKTZ47UDOo
— EXIR (@EXIR_Official) September 3, 2018
Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC) Secretary, Abolhassan Firouzabadi confirmed plans to establish a full regulatory framework for cryptocurrency mining and projects by the end of this month. According to IBENA, Firouzabadi supports the launch of a national cryptocurrency to be used as a financial transaction instrument with foreign trade partners and national allies.
Last November, Firouzabadi told the Financial Tribune:
“We [at the SCC] welcome Bitcoin, but we must have regulations for Bitcoin and any other digital currency. Studies are necessary for considering a new currency.”
Other government organizations have already accepted the Council’s decision including the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology; the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade; and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
Iran Struggles With US Sanctions
Amid economic pressures from the U.S., Iran has been struggling to maintain production and sale of its main export, oil. Iran’s crude oil production fell 6.4 percent last month, marking the greatest decrease in production among Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members.
The Trump Administration’s re-imposed sanctions against Iran have forced many international trade partners to completely disengage operations with the Islamic republic.
Since the sanctions were imposed, over 100 companies previously engaged with Iran have halted further dealings.
With the launch of a national cryptocurrency, Iran hopes to circumvent economic pressures by western sanctions and revitalize its oil production and exports with European partners. It is still unclear how Iran will proceed in the cryptocurrency sector following its recognition of crypto mining as an industry.
Cover Photo by Alireza Heydarifard on Unsplash