Central Bank of Iran Official Says Cryptocurrencies Have 'Made No Contribution to Bypassing Sanctions'

An official with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has claimed that cryptocurrencies have played no significant role in Iran’s sanction hit economy. According to Mohammadreza Mani Yekta, the deputy head of CBI’s office for payment systems, “studies” have shown that digital currencies have “made no contribution to bypassing the sanctions.”

The unenthusiastic assessment of cryptocurrencies by an Iranian official appears to contradict the 2018 report by the Majlis Research Center, which urges the use of digital currencies to circumvent U.S. sanctions. According to one Iranian publication, which quotes Yekta, the country, which recently endorsed “legal” cryptocurrency mining, is already planning to “come up with new and effective cryptocurrency measures to serve national interests.”

At the same time, Yekta’s remarks seem to follow earlier statements by another Iranian official Ali Tazreji, urging “utilities and the Ministry of Industries to work closer with the judiciary to help curb illegal crypto-mining and crypto-mining-related offenses.”

Meanwhile, the same publication also quotes Yekta discouraging Iranians from investing in cryptocurrencies. The CBI official says:

People must be aware of the risks associated with putting money in crypto-assets…crypto prices are highly volatile and there is simply no oversight body to control the market and investors are likely to incur huge losses.

According to the report, Yekta’s remarks were apparently prompted by the bitcoin bull-run, which has seen the dominant crypto setting a new all-time high of just under $28,400 on December 27. Finally, Yekta adds that efforts are underway to amend regulations to “include penalties for unauthorized mining and trading cryptocurrencies.”

What do you agree with the CBI official’s remarks that cryptocurrencies have no significant role in the Iranian economy? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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