Driven by the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, Iranian lawmakers have prepared new legislation to introduce comprehensive rules for the expanding industry. While the bill effectively bans crypto payments in the country, it aims to support cryptocurrency mining and regulate the forex market.
Bill bans crypto payments in Islamic Republic
Members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Iranian parliament, now have a plan to bring order to the crypto space. The new bill, drafted under the supervision of the Parliamentary Economic Commission, allocates responsibilities among regulators and answers some outstanding questions to determine the future of cryptocurrencies in Iran.
If passed in its current version, the bill would ban the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in the Islamic Republic, the Tasnim news agency reported. Besides crypto payments, other domestic transactions with cryptocurrency would also be prohibited. Iranian lawmakers have provided only one exception and this is reserved for a state-issued digital currency (CBDC).
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is to take over the surveillance of the crypto market within three months of the passage of the bill. The monetary institution will also regulate the exchange of cryptocurrencies in the country. Iranian authorities have attempted to restrict cryptocurrency trading in recent months, but the CBI has allowed domestic banks and exchangers to use cryptocurrency mined in Iran to pay for imports.
Iranian regulations to support cryptocurrency mining
The legislation presented in Iran Majlis was also described as a plan to foster “support for cryptocurrency mining and the organization of the internal market for exchanges,” Tasnim noted. Unlike the digital coin trade, cryptocurrency mining has been a legal activity for licensed Iranian companies for about two years now.
According to the project, Iranian cryptocurrency miners will in the future be allowed to participate in projects to build and operate new power plants. To do this, authorized mining companies will have to acquire special permits from the Ministry of Energy, the report said. Miners will even be able to sell the surplus energy generated by their stations.
Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade will exercise regulatory control over the crypto mining industry, the bill postulates. The department will continue to be responsible for issuing the licenses necessary to set up and operate new cryptocurrency mining farms.
The lack of comprehensive regulations and various restrictions have hampered the development of Iran’s crypto industry in recent months. In May, the Majlis leadership called on financial regulators to take a cautious approach to dealing with this complicated issue. In June, the country’s Economy and Finance Minister Farhad Dejpasand said the government could not interfere with the development of crypto technologies for too long.
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