The Iranian government is reportedly laying the infrastructure for bitcoin users in a move that could see the cryptocurrency gain status as legal tender in the country.
In an interview published in Farsi newspaper Shargh in late October, Iran's Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Amir Hossein Davaee revealed a concentrated effort by the ICT ministry to prepare the country for adopting bitcoin as a currency.
As quoted by the Iran Front Page in translated statements, the ICT minister stated:
The ministry of communications and information technology has already conducted a number of research studies as part of efforts to prepare the infrastructure to use Bitcoin inside the country.
The Iranian official specifically underlined a focus on the economic and infrastructural aspects of the potential inherent in cryptocurrencies. Adopting digital infrastructure will help the general interests of Iran, the official said.
He went on to add that a revamp of the current digital infrastructure to accommodate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is among the ministry's core objectives.
We (the ICT) as the main centre in Iran dealing with the country's technology developments have taken very seriously the issue of preparing the infrastructure for the new currency.
Iran has suffered banking blackouts brought on by economic sanctions in the past and is understandably looking at new financial technologies, like cryptocurrencies, to forego its reliance on a dollar and fiat centric economic system. In 2012, global payments rail SWIFT removed Iran from its network of global banks, effectively disconnecting Iran's banking system from global commerce. The impact was also felt on global businesses engaging in transactions with parties in Iran via bitcoin.