The troubled relationship between the US and Iran has now spilled over to the cryptocurrency sector. After slamming sanctions on a number of petroleum, technology, and industry products of Iran, the US is now working to come up with the legislation that will ban Iran’s access to mine cryptocurrencies. This was revealed by assistant minister of industry, trade, and supply of Iran, Saeed Zarandi, who said in a statement that the US is trying to block Iran’s crypto mining industry related to Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. A local, new service called Al-Fars reported this on the 6th of July.
According to the Minister, the US Congress is considering coming up with a legal ban on the cryptocurrency mining against Iran as it sees cryptocurrency as a tool used by Iran for money laundering and to evade other various sanctions imposed by UN on Iran. The US has already introduced bills to ban illicit access to funding by Iran through cryptocurrency in the Senate and the House in December last year, but none of the bills has yet been passed.
Iran and Cryptocurrency Adoptions
The Minister was also asked about the current state of cryptocurrencies in Iran as many organizations in the past complained that Iran has failed to provide a conducive environment for digital coins. In response to this, Zarandi said that government officials are working with the central bank of Iran in order to iron out the problems and challenges faced by the cryptocurrency organizations and soon all the issues related to their usage will be settled. In fact, in January earlier this year, the central bank of Iran made an announcement to come up with the country’s own cryptocurrency, PayMon. The move was announced in Tehran in a conference with many concluding that the new cryptocurrency would be along the same lines as Venezuela’s Petro. However, unlike the Petro, which is quite popular in Venezuela, PayMon is struggling to find takers and be accepted by the masses. Even the stand of the Iranian government towards cryptocurrency mining is quite ambivalent. Just last month, Iranian authorities confiscated around 1,000 machines that were used for Bitcoin Mining. The ministry of energy earlier announced that it is going to crack down on the suspected Bitcoin and cryptocurrency miners who are alleged to take undue advantage of the cheap electricity rates offered by the Iranian government for mining cryptocurrencies. Close on the heels of this announcement, the move to confiscate crypto mining machines took place, sparking concerns among crypto miners in the country. According to industry experts, if the US Congress passes the legislation to ban Iran’s cryptocurrency mining activities, it will have a detrimental effect on the whole industry. Especially from the supply side, the move is going to have some effect on the availability of Bitcoin, which might affect the availability of coin as well as other cryptocurrencies. However, the intensity of the effect will only be seen in the coming future.