Iranian Lawmaker Says Bitcoin Should Be Central Bank's Turf  06/02/2020 21:00:24   Danny Nelson

An Iranian lawmaker wants his countrys central bank to take bitcoin seriously.

Representative Mohammad Hossein Farhangi (Tabriz), speaking Tuesday before the nations parliament, called on the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati, to handle oversight of bitcoin, according to the Tasnim news agency

Calling proper management of bitcoin a good opportunity for the country, Farhangi warned against ceding its potential to financial institutions. “Take the issue of bitcoin seriously, he said.

Iran has been taking crypto seriously on some fronts. Parliament moved to enact restrictive currency smuggling laws in late May. Around that time, President Hassan Rouhani ordered his government to begin devising a national crypto mining strategy and accompanying regulatory regime. The Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade also licensed Irans largest bitcoin mining operation in May.

But Farhangi, who sits on the Industries and Mines committee, thinks that Irans mining hyperfocus leaves much to be desired in its treatment of cryptocurrencies. 

We do not understand that the government has entrusted the monitoring of bitcoins to the Ministry of Industry and Mines, he said, because the central bank must oversee digital currencies.

Iran has been tiptoeing towards broader cryptocurrency adoption despite signals that the Central Bank might try to ban payment via bitcoin. Some in the financially ostracized country also reportedly see cryptocurrency as a means to evade sanctions. 

Editors note: Statements in this article have been translated from Farsi.


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