Iran bans dealing in cryptocurrencies

Iran's currency crisis />
(cartoon by Sana Hosseinpour Iranian daily Ghanoon

Iran's currency crisis /> (cartoon by Sana Hosseinpour Iranian daily Ghanoon

In a move that some media outlets are describing as an effort to ban cryptocurrencies, Iran's Central Bank has directed banks and other financial institutions to avoid all crypto-related transactions.

The CBI pointed to the ability to use cryptocurrencies for money laundering, supporting terrorism, and "exchange of sums between wrongdoers".

The Associated Press reported on Monday that Iran has issued the decision "to control the local currency market which suffered a sharp fall in April". The central bank has also put a limit on the amount of foreign currency an individual can hold in cash to €10,000 ($12,250).

The central bank has been quite frosty to the idea of cryptocurrencies in the last several months, a good example being when it cast doubt on Iran's own planned cryptocurrency, announced earlier this year.

This is a blow for some in Iran who saw crypto-currencies as a way Iran could overcome problems relating to its banking industry and global sanctions.

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Digital currencies in several other countries are tightly regulated.

This move comes amidst growing economic turmoil for Iran.

Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi was hinting that country may be considering a state-backed cryptocurrency.

However, there has been a huge backlash by the Indian crypto community and exchanges and much recently a crypto exchange even filed a petition with the Delhi high court against the central bank calling its decision of ban to be "unconstitutional".

The CBI's supreme committee, also in charge of curbing money laundering and fighting capital flight in Iran, has issued a circular prohibiting banks and financial institutions from transactions that enable buying, selling or promoting cryptocurrencies, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Sunday.

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