Iran Recognizes Crypto Mining as an Industry

Cryptocurrency mining has reportedly been approved as an industry in Iran despite the current crackdown on virtual coins.

The Iranian government has accepted the mining of digital currencies as an official industry, in the context of a national crypto ban that is still in place, news agency IBENA reported on Tuesday, citing a state agency official.

It appears that both the government and crypto-related organizations have recognized cryptocurrency mining as an industry sector, but a legal framework hasn’t been developed yet, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, secretary of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, was quoted as saying. Among those that approved of the move were the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and the ministries of industry, mining and trade, communications and IT, economic affairs and finance, as well as energy.

Although the authorities have not taken a final decision yet, they are expected to develop a regulatory framework by late September, according to the IBENA, which is an organ of the CBI.

While the central bank blocked digital currency trading in April in an effort to fight money laundering and terrorism funding, local media have recently reported that the Islamic republic is likely to get rid of the ban. It will instead introduce rules that regulate the crypto industry and this is also expected to happen by the end of September, CBI official Nasser Hakimi told the Financial Tribune.

In the meantime, Iran is in the process of creating a state-backed virtual currency. A key motive for the tokenization of the rial (the national currency) has been the effect of US-led sanctions on the country’s economy. A draft project is ready now and will be announced before long, Saeed Mahdiyoun, director at the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, told IBENA at the end of August.