CBDCs: Iran Begins Pilot Launch of Crypto-Rial

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said this past Wednesday that it will “begin the pilot launch of crypto-rial as the bank’s digital currency as of Thursday.”

The CBI has said that “the aim of designing the crypto-rial is to turn banknotes into a programmable entity.”

One of the main features of this digital currency is said to be its “high security.”

Crypto-rial has been “designed in a way that it is easy to track and even if the data on the smart phones are hacked, the crypto-rial can be tracked.”

According to earlier CBI statements, the crypto-rial is “planned as a new type of the national currency, like banknotes and coins, though it would be completely digital.”

Based on what is known so far about the CBI’s crypto initiative, the digital currency is “not designed to compete with global cryptocurrencies.”

Unlike bitcoin and other cryptos, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) “are centralized, not anonymous and in accord with anti-money laundering requirements.”

As covered last year, Zack Voell, a cryptocurrency mining specialist, wrote in a blog post published by Compass that Iran had banned Bitcoin mining for four months in the country’s most recent “legal pivot” away from the “begrudged but enduring segment of miners” operating in the country.

Voell pointed out last year that Iran had “flip flopped” on crypto mining for several years. As the country continues to put the blame of power grid failures on BTC mining, the Iranian government is “once again working to limit the growth of mining,” Voell adds.

He also clarified last year that the blackouts are not anything new in the country and (unsurprisingly) neither is “negative sentiment from bureaucrats towards miners.” However, in a nation with an aging and “heavily” subsidized electricity grid known for being “poorly managed” and “unmaintained,” Bitcoin mining appears to be a “convenient scapegoat than a root cause for Iran’s blackouts,” Voell claimed in a blog post in mid-2021.


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