Bitcoin News Today – Tasnim News reported that an official of the Central Bank disclosed that purchasing, selling, and holding of Bitcoin are illegal in Iran. Mr. Nasser Hakimi, Deputy Governor for new technologies, announced the ban of bitcoin trading by the Supreme Council on Countering Money Laundering.
He cautioned the Iranian cryptocurrency users on Monday against investing in non-sovereign assets. He disclosed that the legal risks involved in such deals can land an offender in prison for 2 to 5 years. Besides the jail term, he added that there will be fines for the suspicion of money laundering.
Mr. Hakimi also warned people against the marketers and advertisements of pyramid style network firms that support Bitcoin. He likened the promotion of the cryptocurrency by these companies to the Adventures of Pinocchio’s tree with gold coins.
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In February 2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ordered Iran to complete its financial reforms by June this year. The intergovernmental task force warned the country to comply with the global norms in her financial reforms. The FATF further threatened Iran with “consequences” if it fails to comply with the global standards. The penalties include extending the sanction imposed on the Islamic Republic by the international banking system.
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Iran made a prudent move for the nation’s rejection of Bitcoin. The decentralized digital currency has become notorious for aiding money laundering crimes. The Central Bank’s proposal for the ban on the use of cryptocurrencies for payments in Iran came before February 2019. Meanwhile, the FATF was going to decide the fate of the blacklisted country in the same month.
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In November 2017, the Islamic Republic established a cash declaration regime. While in August 2018, the country made proposals to reform its Counter-Terrorist Financing Act. Amendments to the nation’s Anti-Money Laundering Act were ratified in January 2019. Despite recognizing the legislative efforts of the Iranian government, the FATF decided to delay the removal of the nation’s name from its backlist.
According to the global watchdog’s June 2019 press release, the FAFT will review Iranian financial reforms when the legislation is complete. The task force will find out whether the measures contained in the financial reforms complied with the given standards.
The U.S sanctions that ban foreign countries from doing business in the country have caused Iran’s economy to grow with difficulty. However, transactions in Bitcoin have helped people to transfer money and receive payments without going through the traditional banking process. In November 2018, the US Treasury realized that a decentralized payment process has undermined its sanctions.
Sequel to the discovery, the federal body charged two men with fraud. The Iran-based internet scam involved Bitcoin. Consequently, the Treasury warned cryptocurrency services to exclude Iranians from receiving their services. The popular P2P Bitcoin marketplace was among the crypto services that complied to the US order.
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Last week, the Iranian government further proved its stance on digital currencies with the seizure of “illegal” Bitcoin mining farms. The country plans to levy Bitcoin miners. Currently, Iran is not seeking the removal of restriction from use of Bitcoin imposed by the US Treasury.