The Iranian central bank has issued a ban preventing other banks from trading in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The central bank decided to issue the ban in order to prevent money laundering and the transmission of finances for criminal and terror-related purposes.
Reporting on the decision, The Islamic Republic News Agency said:
“According to CBI public relations department, CBI made the decision by its supreme committee in charge of fight with money laundering last Iranian calendar year.
Virtual currencies have the option to be used for money laundering, supporting terrorism, and exchange of sums between wrongdoers, pointed out the CBI circulation.”
The decision by the central bank didn’t come as totally unexpected. In November, deputy director of new technologies at the Central Bank of Iran said that bitcoin was risky and that the central bank was already planning to conduct a comprehensive review. The central bank has been quite frosty to the idea of cryptocurrencies in the last several months, a good example being when it cast doubt on Iran’s own planned cryptocurrency, announced earlier this year.
The news of the cryptocurrency trading ban does not appear to have significantly affected the bitcoin price; right now, it’s sitting around $8,900 and has been gaining value for the last several weeks or so.