The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has continued to explore the potential use of cryptocurrency as a tool for mitigating the devastating impact of economic sanctions imposed by the United States.
It has been reported that CBI is authorizing banks and licensed Forex shops to use cryptocurrency as payments for imports.
However, under its regulatory framework, the cryptocurrency must derive from licensed crypto miners only. These mining operations are officially permitted by the Iranian state as an industrial activity and require operators to secure a license from the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade.
The report said that as Financial Tribune reports, the Iranian government ratified regulations that would enable crypto to be used legally for imports in October 2020, provided that miners sell their coins directly to the CBI.
Iranian think tank Majlis Research Center stated:
“According to experts, one way to avoid the adverse effects of the unjust sanctions is to use cryptocurrencies for foreign trade.”
Likewise, in January 2021, Shahab Javanmardi, a member of the Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries Mining and Agriculture, advocated for the government to use cryptocurrency to help counter trade difficulties in a tough geopolitical climate.
“Repatriating revenue from exporting gas and electricity is not possible under the present [U.S. sanctions]. The government can promote use of excess electricity output or power generated by small-scale plants to mine cryptocurrencies and make up for the locked resources.”
Moreover, Javanmardi proposed creating a central market, similar to the secondary Forex market, through which officially mined cryptocurrency could be sold to Iranian firms seeking to import materials, machinery, and other goods.
Thus, Sajed Nikpour, a member of the ICCIMA commission for promoting non-oil exports, is cited as saying that the private sector believes cryptocurrency’s usefulness for the Iranian economy applies to the trade sector and could facilitate a boost to domestic production by enabling imports of raw materials. Nikpour has stressed the need to keep such measures transparent.