Majlis, a member of Iran’s parliament, has expressed concern about Tehran’s limited policy on innovations such as cryptocurrencies. Following the publication of a study recommending new approaches to the crypto industry, lawmakers have called for friendly rules.
Iranian lawmakers have called for a change in crypto policy after the study
Some Iranian lawmakers have begun to change the government’s regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies, citing opportunities to use them to improve their nation’s approved and troubled economy. Gholamreza Marhaba, a spokeswoman for the Majlis Economic Commission, told Iranian media that “only a limited approach can lead to innovative underground solutions.” Commenting on the results of the research conducted by the commission, he added:
Our study found that 50% of crypto activities are in the informal market. This is the time when helpful rules can help increase the contribution of digital currency to the economy.
The authors of a report presented to Iran’s legislature last week are recommending new ways to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, the English-language newspaper Financial Tribune reported. They believe the sector could contribute to Iran’s economy, which has suffered from decades of foreign sanctions and mismanagement.
Under current government regulations, crypto mining is legal in Iran for companies approved by the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Commerce. The mining of digital coins was recognized in 2019 as a work of art. However, transactions in crypto assets are not tolerated and Iranian authorities continue to make significant exceptions on local exchanges – banks and licensed money changers are allowed to use digital currency to dig into Iran to pay for imports.
Hadi Nejad Beigi, another member of the Majlis, noted that the administration of former President Hassan Rouhani was reluctant to legalize crypto commerce because it would attract private investment. However, the growing popularity of Bitcoin among Iranians prompted lawmakers to prepare a draft law proposing a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in payments, as well as support for mining and trade control.
Crypto mining can help Iran increase its power generation capacity
According to the study, cryptocurrency mining could solve some of the problems facing the Iranian energy sector, including financial problems. That’s why lawmakers have suggested that the government should allow miners to buy electricity through the Iran Energy Exchange or directly from domestic and foreign producers. They also put forward a proposal to introduce “barter deals” where mining companies could use their digital currency to pay for subsidized energy, selling “at a reasonable rate set by Iran’s central bank.” Beiji emphasized:
I think there is a solution. We need a process to connect with crypto miners and power plant owners.
One of his colleagues, Ehsan Arkani, added that Iran could accelerate the rehabilitation and expansion of its power plants through the development of crypto mining. He also mentioned the possible use of cryptocurrencies to avoid US-led economic sanctions. “Crypto is becoming an integral part of the global financial industry,” Arcani noted, adding that “policymakers need to be aware of this technology so that we can benefit from it.”
Power-intensive cryptocurrency mining has been blamed for power shortages and blackouts in Iran during the hot summer months. This spring, when then-President Rouhani announced a temporary ban on activity for approved mining, the number of closed, illegal crypto firms now exceeds 5,300. Last month, Tavani, Iran’s state-owned power company, said the ban should be lifted on September 22 as energy demand declines with temperature.
The call for legitimacy and proper control of the Iranian crypto industry is growing this year. In May, the Iranian parliament called on capital market regulators to create efficient investment vehicles for legitimate crypto trading. Then in June, the country’s economy minister warned that the government would not be able to interfere in the development of crypto technology for too long. And in mid-August, the country’s Securities Watchdog said Iran’s central bank should use cryptocurrencies by the Iranian people.
Do you think Iran will establish more supportive regulatory systems for crypto companies in the future? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
Image credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons
Denial: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or request for a purchase or sale offer, nor is it a recommendation or approval of a product, service or company. Bitcoin.com does not offer investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. The Company or the Author is not directly or indirectly responsible for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use or reliance on any content, product or service referred to in this article.