In comments from last November, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, secretary of the Iran's cyberspace authority, was quoted as saying that the country would "welcome" bitcoin if it were regulated. Now, however, the Islamic Republic on the Persian coast has changed its mind. Iranian media sources report that the central bank says it does not recognize bitcoin as a currency.
"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 said.
According to the report, bank officials have also said they were working in close co-operation with other institutions to develop a mechanism to control and prevent the use of cryptocurrencies in Iran.
If You Can't Beat 'Em...... The countries most interested in the technology - Iran, Venezuela and Russian Federation - are all targeted by USA sanctions. However, as is nearly always the case, Iran's anti-crypto stance coincides with a very pro-blockchain sentiment.
On Wednesday, Iran's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi announced that the government is actively working on the creation of their own, state-issued cryptocurrency, possibly allowing the country, which is largely excluded from major global payment networks, to circumvent financial blockades.
But the central bank backpedaled on Wednesday just as news of the state-sponsored digital currency went public. Venezuela is now in the midst of an extreme economic crisis, with much of the country suffering from food shortages and a crackdown on human rights, and the potential for Petro to solve any of Venezuela's issues is speculative at best. Late past year, Israel's Ministry of Finance confirmed they are considering they're own crypto, the Shekel, in hopes of reducing the number of cash transactions made within the middle eastern country.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. Do you think we'll see more state-issued cryptocurrencies in the future?