Iran is thinking about developing its own cryptocurrency, according to the country’s ICT minister. The news comes just days after Venezuela launched its petro cryptocurrency that is fixed to the price of a barrel of oil. Both countries see cryptocurrencies as a way of allowing money to flow into the respective countries, essentially getting around U.S.-imposed sanctions. The developments are also significant because they’re some of the first countries to officially adopt cryptocurrencies.
In a post on Twitter, which has been roughly translated below, the ICT minister, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, said:
“In a meeting with the board of directors of Post Bank on digital currencies based on the blockchain, I … prescribed … measures to implement the country’s first cloud-based digital currency.”
On Wednesday, Nicolas Maduro, tweeted out to followers that the newly minted petro cryptocurrency had raised $735 million. Both Iran and Venezuela are members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) so it would make sense if Iran, too, pegged its potential offering to the price of a barrel of oil, once it has finally been approved and developed.
It’s fair to say that cryptocurrencies are starting to enter a new phase, with national governments deploying them. Aside from Iran and Venezuela, Russia has also shown an interest in developing an offering called CryptoRuble.