The Iranian government has completely changed its outlook on the global cryptocurrency space. In recent months, there has been a positive sentiment out of the country, indicating that Bitcoin could be welcomed by the government.
However, it appears that the country will now opt to avoid joining the global trend, and will alternatively work to create and launch its own state-run cryptocurrency.
Initial support for Bitcoin in Iran stemmed from the positive benefits that it could create for the country. Authorities viewed its integration into the financial infrastructure of the country as a way to ensure its global reach and overcome potential sanctions.
The concern over sanctions refers to the financial constraints imposed by the U.S. in 2012, which led to global financial transaction communications company SWIFT halting operations with the country. The sanctions were eventually lifted, as a result of the Iranian nuclear deal led by former President Obama.
Nevertheless, government officials have now retracted those beliefs in favor of creating their own cryptocurrency, which they believe could provide the same benefits, without jeopardizing their citizens’ funds through exposure to the high volatility associated with Bitcoin and other mainstream altcoins.
According to the Iran Front Page, an independent news site, the country’s central bank recently said in a statement: “The wild fluctuations of the digital currencies along with competitive business activities underway via network marketing and pyramid scheme [tactics] have made the market of these currencies highly unreliable and risky.”
Iran to Follow in Venezuela’s Footsteps
Iran’s quest to develop its own cryptocurrency is in line with Venezuela’s actions, whose president initially announced the plan to launch a government-issued virtual coin in December of last year.
The announcement of the Iranian crypto agenda coincides with the launch of Venezuela’s ‘Petro’ cryptocurrency, which took place earlier this week.