Iran is borrowing a page from China when it comes to regulating money. Central Bank of Iran has banned other banks and financial institutions from buying, selling or promoting cryptocurrencies in the wake of reforms meant to quell volatility for the Iranian rial, such as banning money changes outside of banks and unifying exchange rates.
Iranian state news agency IRNA issued a statement on Sunday claiming that banks, credit institutions and currency exchanges “should avoid any sale or purchase of these currencies or taking any action to promote them”.
The ban is an extension of anti-laundering agency’s ban passed in December. A group of Iranians reportedly used social media and online services to trade the cryptocurrencies.
This comes in the wake of reforms designed to stabilize Iran’s currency, the rial, which has fallen to an all-time low, amidst fears that the US will reinstate sanctions that could cripple the country’s economy. This month Iran has banned money changes outside of banks and unified exchange rates, and has now banned trading in cryptocurrencies.
Mohammad Beigi, the Director of the Payment System department of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), earlier said that trading the Bitcoin at the exchange bureaus of the country is against the law.
“Those exchange bureaus that are engaged in selling Bitcoin are unauthorized.”
U.S. President Donald Trump will decide by May 12 whether to restore U.S. economic sanctions on Tehran, which would be a severe blow to the 2015 pact between Iran and six major powers. He has pressured European allies to work with Washington to fix the deal.
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