Iran's 'crypto-Rial' will be unveiled at the eighth annual conference on Electronic Banking and Payment Systems slated for Jan. 29-30.
Following US sanctions, the Islamic Republic is about to launch its own state-backed cryptocurrency and an official announcement is expected at the annual Electronic Banking and Payment Systems conference that starts this week in Tehran.
According to Al Jazeera, the new currency is expected to be rolled out in two phases. The first will be a crypto-Rial to be used for payments between domestic banks and internal institutions. Public access will come at a later stage but all signs are that the currency will be an internal one only. By using crypto and blockchain, Iran would be priming itself to join any other blockchain-based payments networks that could end up replacing the SWIFT network.
When Iran signed a blockchain cooperation agreement with Russia and Armenia in November, the head of the Russian Association of Cryptoindustry and Blockchain, Yuri Pripachkin, confirmed that Iran was already working on a SWIFT alternative.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also made comments confirming the nation’s desire to work with partners on alternative payment platforms and distance itself from the dollar as Trump’s war on trade continues. As Moscow is also sanctioned by the US, a partnership with Tehran is a logical way forward. Rumors that Russia could start stockpiling Bitcoin have also been circulating but with no official confirmation.
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