Iran Announces Cryptocurrency

While Iranian President Hassan Rohani is under increasing pressure due to the poor economic situation, the country’s central bank has announced the introduction of a cryptocurrency.

The digital money should help to bypass American sanctions, which make the cross-border payment more difficult. As the central bank’s computer service (ISC) announced, the hitherto unnamed currency will be underlayed with rials. Its scope is limited, is subject to its own block chain structure and can not be created outside. After a test phase, the means of payment should be used between banks and companies, later also in public.

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas affirmed on Tuesday the support of companies that want to continue doing business with Iran despite US sanctions. The federal government is currently working to prevent Iran from being disconnected from Swift, the prevailing payment system of the banks. At the same time, work is being done to set up payment channels independent of the United States and to create a European Monetary Fund. Maas acknowledged that this was not easy. He referred to a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, showing that Germany was not alone in this effort. Also in France, an alternative payment system is approved. But it will be difficult to maintain payments with Iran without American authorities being aware of it.