First Venezuela and now Iran is ruffling its feathers to resist U.S. sanctions by adopting blockchain technology-based mechanisms. These authoritarian regimes are looking to build an alternative financial system where there will be no bars for free markets.
The United States said Monday it was reimposing economic sanctions against Iran that were lifted under a 2015 nuclear accord, ratcheting up pressure on Tehran but also worsening relations with European allies.The sanctions are a consequence of President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from an international deal that sought to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing pressure on the country’s shaky economy.
White House also published a statement that POTUS was pulling out of the unacceptable Iran deal dubbing it as the worst deal in history by U.S.
The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.
— President Donald J. Trump
Earlier in July, Iran’s state-sponsored Press TV reported that the “plan to create an indigenous cryptocurrency” was moving forward, and the central bank was working with “domestic knowledge-based companies” to develop the digital currency.
Iranians, before this move, had been working to prevent capital flight by discouraging citizens from using bitcoin and restricting access to foreign crypto exchange websites. Now, the Iranian government wants to introduce a cryptocurrency it can control. Iran’s central bank, like many countries, has been doing research on blockchain and now the officials have publicly announced the idea of a state-based crypto.
Earlier, in Feburary this year, the central bank rejected as baseless the reports on its role in the sales of and transactions in cryptocurrencies. “The wild fluctuations of the digital currencies along with competitive business activities underway via network marketing and pyramid scheme have made the market of these currencies highly unreliable and risky,” the central bank was quoted by the Iran Front Page’s website.
Few weeks later Information and Communications Technology Minister, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said that Iran has developed an experimental local cryptocurrency, pointing out that central bank’s ban doesn’t prohibit them from the development of the digital currency in domestic sector.
Russia probably is influencing Iran’s push toward crypto. In May, both Iranian and Russian press reported that a senior Iranian economic official met with his Russian counterpart in Moscow. Just today, Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov told reporters that Putin may take part in a summit with the leaders of Turkey and Iran in the beginning of September.
The crypto will be backed by Iranian rial, which is considered a bad move by many analysts predicting that it will have no effect and will only result in degrading cryptocurrency just like the paper currency did.
This does not mean that cryptocurrencies and blockchain should be feared or discouraged from a national security point of view. These are simply new technologies suitable to advancing licit or illicit objectives.