In a move that had been rumoured for several weeks, the Iranian central bank has outright banned cryptocurrency trading in the country.
The decision, as reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency, was made “last Iranian calendar year”. The official circulation from the Iranian central bank reads that “Virtual currencies have the option to be used for money laundering, supporting terrorism, and exchange of sums between wrongdoers”.
Specifically citing Bitcoin, it adds that the currency “does not abide by any governing rules and regulations in any countries and no government or bank round the globe monitor or supervises it”.
The Central Bank Of Iran’s decision isn’t a massive surprise, but it’s still a disappointing one.
Kevin Murcko, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange CoinMetro, was one of many expressing disappointment, saying that “it’s unfortunate that Iran has chosen to join the cryptocurrency ban bandwagon, confirming rumours that circulated in February this year”.
“As history has gone to show, banning cryptocurrency achieves little other than to drive activity overseas or underground. Cryptocurrency trading has survived the ban in China, and it seems likely that despite Iran’s own ban, crypto will continue to have a place in the Iranian financial system”.
The spotlight continues to point at the cryptocurrency industry itself though, as it seeks to address issues of confidence from certain governments around the world. Self-regulation continues to be a discussion that needs to be had, but conversely, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere quickly. In such a climate, it’s perhaps inevitable that some central banks, wary of cryptocurrency innovation, are opting for draconian tactics.