New Crypto and Blockchain Association Launches in Iran

A recently established crypto industry association in Iran has commenced activities under the country’s chamber of commerce. Its management hopes to help remove obstacles challenging its members while facilitating the implementation of blockchain technology in the sanctioned nation’s economy.

Industry Association to Address Blockchain-Related Challenges in Iran

The newly-established Iran Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association (IBCA) has started operating under the supervision of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mining and Agriculture (ICCIMA), the English-language business daily Financial Tribune reported. According to the publication, the IBCA is the first organization affiliated with the chamber that is dealing with challenges facing Iran’s growing blockchain ecosystem.

The launch was announced by Mohammad Reza Sharafi, member of the association’s board, who expressed hope that the IBCA would be able to remove hurdles faced by businesses in the crypto space and use blockchain technology in the interest of the Iranian economy. Speaking to the Way2pay website portal, Sharafi also elaborated:

There are a variety of issues related to the development of the innovative technology in Iran. Concerted efforts have been made to maximize the benefits of this sector for the economy… We need to work closely to ensure the use of the potential of the technology without monopolizing it.

The organization’s representative added that the ICCIMA issued permission for the establishment of the new group last year. The launch was delayed, however, due to various reasons, not least of which was the change in government in Tehran. Mohammad Sharafi is convinced that working under the chamber’s supervision will create opportunities to address key challenges in the sector, in particular those pertaining to regulations.

A previously active industry body, Iran Blockchain Association (IBA), was founded in 2017 as a nonprofit, self-governing society of entrepreneurs, experts, and activists involved in the development of the rapidly growing technology. IBA had its activities suspended in June of this year by the Ministry of Interior for allegedly breaching its own articles of association.

The move came after Iranian lawmaker Rahim Zare accused non-government crypto organizations of transferring foreign currency funds outside the Islamic Republic. The IBA rejected these claims that had not been backed by any evidence.

Iran’s crypto space remains largely unregulated. In April, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) authorized domestic banks and money exchangers to use locally mined cryptocurrencies to pay for imports to the sanctioned nation but authorities have been going after coin trading and crypto payments in the country.

Restrictions on cryptocurrency trade would deprive Iran of opportunities, local fintech companies warned earlier this year, expressing opposition to government attempts at curbing the operations of digital asset exchanges. Crypto mining is currently the most regulated sector since Tehran recognized it as a legal industrial activity in 2019.

Do you think Iran’s new crypto and blockchain association will manage to achieve its goals? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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