Iran makes first import order using cryptos

Iran has said by the end of September the use of cryptos for foreign trade will be "widespread"

An Iranian young boy holds an Iran flag while carrying by a vehicle as he and his family attend an avenue to celebrate Irans victory over Iraq during their 2022 World Cup Asian Zone qualifier soccer match, in downtown Tehran on 27 January, 2022. Iran's na                                 
Iran has made its first official import order using digital currencies - Photo: Getty Images
                                

Iran has made its first official import order using cryptocurrencies, in a deal said to be worth $10m (£8.18m).

The news was announced in a tweet posted by Alireza Peyman-Pak, the country’s vice-minister of industry, mine and trade, and president of Iran Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).

Peyman-Pak did not say what cryptos were used for the imported goods. However, he said: “By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widespread in foreign trade with target countries.”

The top countries that supply Iran with its imports are China (25%), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (14%), India (6.5%) and Turkey (6.3%) according to Trading Economics, which provides economic historical data and forecasts.

Plan for national crypto soon

In January 2022, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said it plans to launch a pilot for a national cryptocurrency soon, heralding the arrival of an Iranian central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Mehran Moharamian, vice-governor for IT affairs at the CBI, said the central bank views cryptos “as a solution for resolving inconsistencies and decentralising resources.” Moharamian said that cryptos and CBDCs were something numerous countries have seen benefits from.

Although Iran was one of the first countries to legalise crypto mining, with the country viewing digital assets as a robust way of dealing with US sanctions, in June 2022 it announced that the 118 government-authorised crypto mining operations would have their electricity cut off.

The cessation of mining was due to crypto miners using too much electricity. At the time, this was announced by Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, a spokesperson for Iran’s power industry, in an interview on state TV.

Before the ban, in May 2021 Iran’s level of mining and Bitcoin (BTC) production brought in revenues close to $1bn (£817m).

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