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Cryptocurrencies have been a source of concern in Tehran as digital assets have attracted capital from other traditional markets. The parliament leadership has now asked the tax agency to profile owners of Iranian platforms facilitating cryptocurrency trading and report to the Majlis.
The Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Iranian legislative body also known as Majlis, has joined the debate on how to regulate decentralized financial assets such as bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed increasing popularity among Iranians over the past year, amid rising crypto prices and falling Iranian stocks. Calling for a cautious approach to dealing with related issues, Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said:
Imposing a ban on crypto trading on its own is not enough. The Central Bank of Iran is responsible for authorizing exchange bureaus. The CBI must develop precise regulations vis-Ã -vis the function of crypto exchanges and block their access to payment gateways until the rules are finalized.
In a letter to financial regulators, including the CBI and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, Qalibaf called on the Iranian National Tax Administration (INTA) to profile owners of trading platforms that trade cryptocurrencies. The revenue agency should file a report with parliament as soon as possible, said the chairman of the Majlis.
According to the business daily Financial Tribune, parliament also ordered the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and the Ministry of Culture to do what is necessary to raise public awareness of cryptocurrencies and details regarding the functioning of the digital asset exchanges. Interest in decentralized money has grown rapidly in recent months, and Iranians have increasingly invested in bitcoin and other cryptos.
Last week, the CBI issued a warning against cryptocurrency trading, telling citizens that investments would be at their own risk. However, in April, the regulator allowed local banks and exchangers to use cryptocurrency mined in Iran to pay for imports. The move is an attempt to bypass U.S. sanctions and, according to the Iran Fintech Association, the use of cryptocurrency has helped Iranian businesses bypass restrictions on banking, shipping, and insurance services.
Experts with knowledge of the industry have warned government officials against taking hasty action, and lawmakers have urged capital market regulators to create investment vehicles that facilitate legal crypto trading. According to a recent statement by Mohammadreza Pourebrahimi, head of the Parliamentary Economic Commission, lawmakers are already working on a framework to regulate cryptocurrency trading in the Islamic Republic.
Do you expect Iran to legalize the trading and exchange of cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.
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