Central Bank of Iran Working on Cryptocurrency, Press TV Reports

(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s central bank is cooperating in the development of a cryptocurrency for the nation, which may want one to help dodge the return of U.S. sanctions, Press TV reported.

Companies in the Islamic Republic are working on the project with the Central Bank of Iran, state media reported Wednesday, citing the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency.

The move may mark an evolution in policy for Iran -- whose central bank in April banned credit institutions and banks from dealing in virtual currencies. Venezuela, which is under U.S. sanctions, has announced plans for its own cryptocurrency -- dubbed the Petro -- and on Wednesday said the value of a redenominated currency it intends to introduce next month will be linked to the virtual coin.

Other central banks have largely distanced themselves from privately issued coins, with India’s, for instance, sticking by its ban in the face of a court challenge from digital-coin enthusiasts.

The ISNA news service cited Alireza Daliri, deputy for management and investment affairs of Iran’s Directorate for Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Presidential Office.

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