The government of Tehran is taking steps to prepare for the launch of Iran’s new digital currency, the cryptocurrency rial. The Monetary Authority of the Islamic Republic hopes to launch the pilot phase of the project within the next two months.
Crypto rial will be different from cryptocurrencies, central bank says
According to the Persian calendar starting Aug. 23, Iranian authorities are taking the necessary steps to trial the cryptocurrency rial starting in the month of Shahrivar, Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Ali Salehabadi told reporters Friday.
The executive was quoted by Iran’s front-page news portal as saying that Iran’s digital currency will be different from a decentralized global cryptocurrency. Its sole purpose, he noted, is to “replace the paper money people currently own.”
Salehabadi further revealed that the pilot project will initially cover only one region of the country. The cryptocurrency rial, which has been in development for some time, will eventually be introduced to the rest of the Islamic Republic at a later, unspecified stage.
The CBI announced its preparations for the upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC) in April after it informed Iranian banks and other credit institutions about the upcoming regulations. They detail how it will be minted and distributed.
The monetary authority will be the sole issuer of the cryptocurrency rial and will determine its maximum supply. According to earlier reports, the token is based on a distributed ledger system that will be maintained by authorized financial institutions and will be able to support smart contracts.
The new Iranian currency will be issued in accordance with regulations governing the emission of banknotes and coins and will be used exclusively for transactions within the country. The CBI will be responsible for monitoring the financial and economic impact of digital cash and ensuring that it does not negatively affect its monetary policy.
The central bank also insists that state-issued coins will play a role in establishing the presence of cryptocurrencies in the country, where payments such as bitcoin are not allowed. The announcement of its pilot phase comes at a time when dozens of central banks around the world are considering or have already developed their own CBDCs.
Do you think Iran will be able to launch a pilot of the cryptocurrency rial in the next two months? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
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